Come out of the Temple Bar area of Dublin and you're generally going to find the real pubs of Dublin, of which unsurprisingly there are many! O'donoghues stands out for me because it just is what it is, it's not catering for tourists and is unashamed about this. The accents in here are Irish, the people in here are Irish, the music is Irish and here's the real difference from Temple Bar and others is that the bar staff are actually Irish!
The great musical legends of Ireland have played in here, such as The Dubliners who have their pictures hung with pride around the place. Am not sure if money changed hands or it was just people having the craic but there is usually a small group of people (Irish) around a table in a cosy corner playing their instruments seemingly to each other with no airs and graces or cd's to sell to the crowd.
~ ~ O’Donoghue’s bar, located just off St. Stephen’s Green at the top of Baggot Street, is quite simply a Dublin institution, and a legend in its own lifetime. To most tourists visiting the city, O’Donoghues is the epitome of everything that an Irish bar should be, and no self-respecting visitor would consider their visit complete without having visited this most famous watering hole at least once. ~ ~ And a typical old fashioned Irish bar it most certainly is, with the most basic of amenities, and toilets (at least the men’s) that you need a clothes peg over your nose and a pair of welly boots to visit! No fancy seating, carpets, and soft lights in this boozer, although in fairness, you can now have this if required by visiting their new extension that has recently been opened at the rear of the building. This is real “spit and sawdust” territory, with worn linoleum floors, walls stained brown by the smoke from millions of cigarettes, and wooden bar counters worn down by the passing of countless millions of pints of the black stuff. That it is reputed to sell one of the best pints of Guinness in the city should come as no real surprise and, at the weekends, if you want to gain entry to this bar at all then it is essential to arrive almost at opening time. ~ ~ So what is the secret behind its amazing popularity with locals and visitors alike? The answer is music; the Irish variety. It was in this bar that many famous legends in the Irish and Folk scenes first plied their trade, and learnt the skills that were to go on to make them household names. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s, it was here that Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly first met and played sessions together, the fledgling band later to go on to become the world famous Dubliners. In more recent times it was from here that the Furey Brothers emerged, and where the Irish Folk "hero" Christy Moore made
his name, and to this day the pub is often used by big names from the Irish music scene. Their pictures line all the walls, with some amazing snaps of incredibly youthful looking stars before they made the big time. There is also an absolutely colossal collection of bank notes from all over the world stuck on the walls behind the bar, and if you are a foreign visitor, you can be sure that the barman will ask you for a sample of your countries currency. (that is if they don’t have it already) ~ ~ The bar is constantly thronged with people, from locals, tourists, the office crowd, the music set, and even the odd politician from Government Buildings which are just across the road. It is not unheard of for An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern, himself a native Dubliner, to pop in here for a swift one at the close of government business. In the evening you are certain to get a bit of live music, with many musicians and singers of every kind simply joining in the mostly impromptu sessions. If you feel you have a voice, you can even give it a go yourself. (beware, they’re a critical crowd, and expect the best!) ~ ~ The new back bar is more "civilised”, with all the amenities that you would expect from a modern hostelry. Comfortable seating, carpets, and even light bar snacks and meals. You can escape into here if it all gets a bit much for you. One solid piece of advice. Don’t miss O’Donoghues if you ever visit Dublin, but if nature calls, then head for the toilets in the back bar.
O’Donoghues is situated in the near of Stephens Green. You will find it in the extension of Stephens Green North in East direction the Merrion Row 15. The most famous Irish bands played here you can see the pictures on the wall. You can also see on the wall a Money-Collektion there is money from allover the World and also one piece of my old East-German money. Don’t frighten it’s very small but there is also a little room on the back and there is also a beer garden. I don’t speak about the toilet that’s not too clean but I think the beer and the Irish coffee is wonderful. This pub is preferred very well suitably for "drinking bouts" but not for somebody who is looking for the silence. You can also buy there very nice t-shirts for 6 Pound only with the words “I survived a night HIC in O’Donoghues”.