Best 99: Arvagh lures them in
The Co Cavan town depends on visitors, and Lynch’s newsagent is using the right bait
‘A lot of people would tell you that we’re the place to come for 99s,’ says John Lynch
If you want to catch plenty of fish, you need to use the right bait. Lynch’s newsagent in Arvagh, Co Cavan, is obviously doing something right, because ice-cream lovers are coming from miles around, attracted by the 99s on offer in this small lakeside town. One lick and they’re hooked. The shop clearly has a lot of fans who use social media: Lynch’s is currently No 1 on the 99 Finder app’s leaderboard.
“It has always been a well-known shop for the 99s,” says Noel Lynch, who runs the shop with his father, John Lynch. “We take a lot of pride in our ice creams. We wouldn’t brag about it, but a lot of people would tell you that we’re the place to come for 99s.”
John and his wife Miriam opened the shop in 1979. The premises used to house a pub, but the family closed it to create more space for the shop. The drinkers’ loss is ice-cream lovers’ gain.
Arvagh sits on the shores of Garty Lough, one of the 365 lakes dotted around Cavan. That’s one lake for each day of the year. The area attracts fishermen from all over the world to compete in some of the many competitions, or to just enjoy a fishing holiday.
When I speak to Noel, his brother-in-law, Richard Pratt, is competing for Ireland in the World Feeder Fishing Championships in Coachford, Co Cork, and has finished day one in first place.
Arvagh also sits neatly on the intersection between three provinces, and on Saturday, the second annual Three Provinces festival will kick off, featuring music, fireworks, a busking competition, raft races and an agricultural fair.
“We got it up and running for the first time last year for the Gathering, and we got big numbers coming into the town. It was very successful. Arvagh has a small population, so we depend on visitors.”
They’re using the right bait, anyway.
Róisín Sheerin emailed her memories of Teddy’s in Dún Laoghaire in the 1970s.
“To queue outside that hatch in the 1970s on a hot summer’s day was magical. If it was raining, my three sisters and I would walk briskly with our precious haul back to the car. You couldn’t risk running. The car would be facing the sea, looking towards the hill of Howth. Sometimes my mother or father would be unable to finish their whipped cone and would pass the remainder to one of the greedy guts who had already finished theirs.”
To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet or Instagram your photos using #best99 and download Showoff’s free 99 Finder app