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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Dublin's dozens of derelict pubs are being documented by one man and his bike

John Geraghty is cycling around the city photographing pubs that have closed their doors.


THIS YEAR, WE learned that more than 1,000 Irish pubs have closed their doors over the last seven years.

And today, John Geraghty has set out on his bicycle to photograph dozens of pubs around the capital that have fallen out of use.

Geraghty runs the website, a guide to Dublin’s pubs and watering holes. He told the project – running under the hashtag #ReelingInTheBeers – began yesterday when he put a call out on Twitter.

Within an hour I’d been given about 40 names. So I plotted them on a map [...] You see all those articles [about pub closures], but you might think they’re only rural ones. I had no idea of the amount of them in the city centre.

The site has created a public map of 35 derelict or unused pubs around the city, and is inviting people to contribute any they know of via Twitter or Facebook.

Source: Google Maps

The shuttered pubs, says Geraghty, tend to be concentrated in particular areas.

Dublin 8, the Liberties, there’s a good few in Fairview. Traditional working class areas. I only have two or three in Dublin south east, and they’re only very short term – they’ll be open again.

Why do people care so much about old pubs? They’re part of the fabric of a neighbourhood, says Geraghty.

It’s the nostalgia factor. That’s why I called it Reeling In The Beers. Probably only a few people would have actually been to the pubs, but people feel really connected to them. You might pass them every day, and have that thought: ‘What was going on there? Who owned it?’

Many of the pubs involved are in old buildings. Some however, like the Scholars in Blackpitts, are boom-era.

A few of the pubs on the map, such as the Belfry in Stoneybatter, are in the process of being revamped.

Most, however, show no signs of any use at all.

Do you know of any unused or derelict pubs in the city? Tweet them using the hashtag #ReelingInTheBeers, or reply to this post on Facebook.

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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