RIP O’Flagherty’s: An Irish bar lament

RIP O’Flagherty’s: An Irish bar lament

When Paul Whitelock was renovating a house in the Peñas neighbourhood of  Ronda back in 2005, after a hard day’s graft he used to pop up the road to Ronda’s Irish Bar to quench his thirst and meet up with friends and strangers alike. Sadly the bar closed about 10 years ago. Here he reminisces about the good old days in O’Flagherty’s…

O’Flagherty’s in Ronda is an Irish bar owned by a Swede and run by an Argentinian, but nevertheless this small but convivial pub seems to meet the expectations of those that go there.  Popular amongst British and other expatriates who live in and around Ronda, it is also frequented by many locals, including the mayor of Ronda.  It is also visited by tourists of many nationalities who are passing through the so-called city of dreams on a tour of Andalucía.

Bart and Marit, a young Dutch couple from Rotterdam in the Netherlands had already visited Irish Bars in Barcelona and Granada on their tour of Spain.  “We like the atmosphere and the subdued lighting of the typical Irish Bar.  Spanish bars are too brightly lit and too noisy!” said Bart.  Marit added: “The music is better too”

Seasoned travellers visit Irish Bars wherever they are in the world, because they are a meeting point where you can find things out, such as where is the best cheap hotel, where are the best eateries, what are the best places to visit and so on.  In addition you can get a good pint of Guinness or Murphy’s.

Mike, Amber and Kathleen from North Carolina, USA are typical.  “We always check out Irish Bars wherever we go.  They’re often more homely, you can get a decent beer and they’re good places to meet people and talk”, says Amber.  Mike agrees: “I just love the culture of the pub – it’s unique”.

You meet all sorts in an Irish Bar.  Two regulars in O’Flagherty’s are Seamus, a horsebreaker from the West of Ireland and his pal David, a retired archaeologist and expert on Iran.  Add to that a German skate-boarding champion, a French nuclear physicist, a South African masseuse, a Spanish Foreign Legionnaire and an Indian engineer and you begin to see why this Irish bar is such an interesting place to spend an evening.

RIP O’Flagherty’s.

Note: There has been another Irish Bar in Ronda for some years, but it has little to do with Ireland. Other than the name, the livery and the Guinness it’s just another theme pub, frequented almost exclusively by young Spaniards.

Paul Whitelock

About Paul Whitelock

Paul Whitelock, a retired former languages teacher, school inspector and translator, who emigrated to Andalucía in 2008