Barfly: Nora Murphy’s Bar, Brandon, Co Kerry

Pub perfection No 2: The view from its front door is beautiful and there’s always a great welcome inside

Murphy’s is settled on the edge of the Atlantic and in the shadow of Mount Brandon

Murphy’s is settled on the edge of the Atlantic and in the shadow of Mount Brandon

 

When friends came home from two weeks on Dingle Peninsula without seeing the Blaskets or driving Slea Head I couldn’t make sense of it – until they brought me to visit the pub where their time in the Kingdom was stolen: Nora Murphy’s on Brandon Pier, a place to rival any pub in Ireland. The view from its front door is beautiful and there’s always a great welcome inside.

It’s a stunning location. Settled on the edge of the Atlantic and in the shadow of Mount Brandon, Murphy’s looks across the bay at mountains and valleys. The pier is a hub for Brandon village: locals fish from its walls, teenagers launch themselves from its edge and the currachs stacked outside the pub are a busy local amenity. Sip your pint long enough and dolphins will cut across your view.

Run by the same family for five generations, Murphy’s is a living snapshot of Brandon. Thirty-one year-old Pádraig Murphy is now in charge, having taken on the mantle from his uncle, Paddy. Nora was his grandmother. He’s built a new deck and introduced a must-have crab sandwich.

Otherwise, he’s sticking with tradition. The fire burns, the walls feature newspaper cuttings and a stuffed salmon holds pride of place in the bar. There’s a dart board and a television for big games only and music is natural to the place, so come expecting a song. It’s simply a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

The Wild Atlantic Way has taken a strange detour away from Brandon so Murphy’s is now officially off the beaten track, although it is a discovery point and a mere 40 minutes drive from Dingle town. Buck the trend and take the diversion. There’s a pint of Guinness and a crab sandwich waiting on the pier.

Gary Quinn

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