Longford is leading the way in terms of the tourism industry at the moment, with the construction of the country’s largest-ever private tourism development well underway in the south of the county – Center Parcs Longford Forest just outside the town of Ballymahon. But when the 2,000 visitors a week start to pour in after the site opens in summer 2019, where’s the best place to go for a real Irish pub experience? This article covers a few of the best options Longford has to offer.
5. Ronnie Nally & Sons, Ballymahon
A long established Longford favourite is Ronnie Nally’s Bar at the Cornerhouse on Main Street in Ballymahon. It’s a landmark on the N55 national north/south primary route. This pub has held its own as a top destination for a pint of the black stuff for many, many years with plenty of awards to prove it. It has a simple interior with comfortable seating and a plethora of interesting photos, pictures and paintings adorning the walls – documenting this pub’s firm place in local and national history. A go-to destination when it comes to sports, this pub has hit the headlines in the infamous Pub Spy newspaper column on numerous occasions in a good way.
Address: Corner House, Main St, Ballymahon, Co. Longford, Ireland
4. Magan’s, Killashee
If peace and quiet is what you’re after, look no further. Magan’s in Killashee is your only man. With classic old Irish décor to gaze around at, (in fairness it was established in 1826!) this place will tickle all of the taste buds with creamy pints of stout, friendly family staff and a cosy welcome all year around. It’s particularly nice to sit in on a winter’s evening with a lovely stove piping out heat to warm your bones while you listen to the local banter. Finding it is no problem as it’s one of just two pubs in Killashee which is situated on the N63 between Longford and Lanesboro. The building itself is very striking and of architectural interest – a six-bay three-storey early nineteenth-century house. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Ballymahon.
Address: Magans Pub, Killashee, Longford, Ireland.
3. The Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule
A true gem of rural Ireland – The Rustic Inn is the perfect spot for a pint, a plate or a party. The award-winning “Rustic” as it’s affectionately known, has fed and watered locals for every occasion in Abbeyshrule on the banks of The Royal Canal. Located less than 10 minutes drive from the town of Ballymahon, the warm and cosy bar is at one end of the premises. It then opens out into a major function hall which has hosted everything from weddings to concerts and dinner dances. The best part of it is that it ticks all the boxes. A quiet pint, a family feed, or a big screen sporting event. Take your time in this Tidy Towns and Entente Florale award winning village, it’s worth it. It’s also one of the closest pubs to the new holiday park destination.
Address: Main St., Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford, N39F6A2, Ireland
2. Skellys Bar & Guest House, Ballymahon
Speaking of rustic charm, Skelly’s Bar, Restaurant & B&B in Ballymahon is another one to top the list. With its intricately restored original interior stonework, its open old style stone hearth fireplace and its beautiful flagstone flooring, this cosy little number hits the ball out of the park when it comes to the proper Irish pub experience. It’s a family run affair with great food and an excellent selection of wine and craft beers too. It’s one of the few proper old Irish style pubs in Longford that has embraced the craft side of things on tap. On the food front, the Friday night specials are a regular hit – perfect for thrifty backpackers at just ten euro for a main course. Skelly’s is also home to a number of festivals and events each year including acting as a venue for the International Still Voices Film Festival. The bar also regularly plays host to live local, national and international music acts.
Address: Main St, Ballymahon, Co. Longford, Ireland
1. Tally-Ho, Longford
The Duignan family celebrated 100 years in the pub trade in 2017 with the re-opening of the refurbished new look Tally-Ho. An institution in Longford town, the Tally offers an excellent pint in warm and comfortable surroundings. The recent refurbishment has created more space for comfortable seating while preserving the original open plan feel. It is a quintessentially simple Irish pub and located just up the street from the beautiful St Mel’s Cathedral. No frills, just free-flowing banter and plenty of craic.
Address: New St, Deanscurragh, Longford, Ireland