The Midlands drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Pub in Athlone

Sean's Bar

It doesn't look like it from the front, but this pub dates from AD 900, making it Ireland's oldest pub. Its log fires, uneven floors (to help flood waters run back down to the river), sawdust, rickety piano and curi…
Top Choice Pub in Banagher

JJ Houghs Singing Pub

Rivalling the river as Banagher's most appealing feature, Hough's is a 250-year-old vine-clad pub renowned for its music sessions. You'll find someone playing here most nights in summer and at weekends in winter. Pe…
Top Choice Pub in Abbeyleix


This extraordinary pub has withstood the onslaught of modernisation. A hotchpotch of oddities line the shelves above the pew seats and pot-belly stove. Dating from 1775 (when it opened as a grocery store), it's a wo…
Top Choice Pub in Shannonbridge

JJ Killeens Village Tavern

Killeens is an old-world pub and shop that is renowned for its warm welcome and lively traditional music. There's a music session six nights a week in summer and at weekends during the rest of the year. Traditional …
Pub in Carrick-on-Shannon

Anderson's Thatch Pub

You can hardly miss this traditional thatched pub while driving along the R368 towards Elphin. Dating from 1734, it's worth a trip for its live-music sessions (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday), old-world atmosphere a…
Pub in Tullamore


The place to drink the local whiskey – or anything else. This pub is several cuts above average, with excellent and inventive, albeit casual, bar food (the burgers are superb). There is dance music on weekends; on T…
Pub in Birr


The most appealing pub in the centre, the Chestnut dates from 1823 and benefits from a beautiful revamp that combines dark wood with a continental cafe style and cocktails. There's live music at weekends and regular…
Pub in Birr


Stop for a pint at Craughwell's, renowned for its rollicking trad-music session on the first Friday of the month and impromptu singalong sessions on Saturday. Tourists and locals alike contribute to the bar's cap co…
Pub in Carrick-on-Shannon

Flynn's Corner House

This authentic stuck-in-a-time-warp pub serves a good pint of Guinness and has live music on Friday nights – savour it.
Pub in Mullingar

Yukon Bar

A lively pub, this place has a great atmosphere and regular live music. You may find soul, blues and rock music on offer.