‘Best Irish Pub in the World’ competition entry: Peter’s Irish Pub, Maastricht

A Dutchman made a ballsy decision to open a pub in the student town after a few years living in Cork

The Irish Times' Generation Emigration project is on the hunt for the best Irish pub in the world outside Ireland. The following is one of the entries we've received so far. To read more, or find out how to nominate your favourite Irish pub abroad, click here.

In this competition, The Irish Times asking - at the core - what does the Irish pub mean nowadays? I landed in Maastricht a month ago - in the midst of Carnival preparations where some local traditions still mystify me- and one of my first stops was Peter’s Irish Pub.

I have worked on diaspora issues for some time now and came to Maastricht for a fellowship on that topic. Little did I know the remarkable tale that was just behind the door of this fresh and quaint Irish pub.

Peter spent a few years of his life in my hometown of Cork , which is useful as he can translate my Cork ramblings for locals. He worked in a series of pubs across the city and has fond memories of the place. He was later working in a large, globally recognised multinational when he decided to follow an opportunity. Peter left his job and opened Peter’s Irish Pub just under a year ago. Oh, and by the way, did I mention that Peter is Dutch?


We have spent many years trying to figure out the role of the Irish pub for Irish communities abroad, and have recently also began to look at the intrinsic marketing/tourism value of these landmark places of gathering. Yet, Peter’s Irish story is a fresh one, he is our affinity diaspora - a “hearts and minds” business, perhaps that is what the Irish pub means.

His is also a story littered with the benefits of working with diasporas who live in Ireland at the moment. He was inspired by his Irish journey and, to be frank, made a ballsy entrepreneurial decision based on this journey. For me, that’s to be recommended and acknowledged.

The history of this pub is brief but encouraging. It may not have the historical prestige of some of the more famous watering holes in traditional Irish diaspora destinations such as New York, Boston, London, Sydney but the pub is bringing a little bit of Ireland to a city driven by students.

And here is the interesting part, these staples of Irishness - itself a contested term - translate globally. The student body and clientele are welcoming Peter’s; traditional Irish dishes along with extensive sporting coverage and pub quizzes are bringing folks through the door. In the crowds that fizzle in are the next wave of our affinity diaspora - and who knows, with proper encouragement and nurturing - our next wave of tourists, investors and dare I say it, some new Peters.

The beauty of a story is two-fold - it is in the telling and also the listening. Peter’s story is one worth telling and one worth listening to and in this spirit, we offer up Peter’s Irish Pub as representative of one of Ireland’s best pubs outside Ireland. Why? Because affinity matters.

Think your favourite Irish pub abroad could claim the title of Best Irish Pub in the World (Outside Ireland)? Tell us about it by entering the competition here.