In for the Long Hall – 250 years of a Dublin pub
We’ve discussed elsewhere on DublinTown the various significant anniversaries taking place this year but there is one taking place that might be overlooked by most Dubliners apart from regular visitors to George’s Street. Because you see 2016 marks the 250th anniversary of the opening of the Long Hall as a public house on South Great George’s Street.
As with other pubs we have profiled there was a connection with the nationalist movement, although this predated 1916 as the pub was owned by prominent revolutionary Joseph Cromien who was actively involved in the planning of the aborted Fenian Rising of 1867. Men like John Devoy and Charles J. Kickham were known to frequent the pub to plan their uprising but this came to an end when Joseph Cromien was arrested in 1866 and the pub was closed on the order of the court!
The arrest of Joseph Cromien lead to the arrival of new owner Thomas Carroll and later his business partner Patrick Dolan, who had his own unique vision for the Long Hall. Pretty much all of the pub that you see today was part of the vision of Dolan whose substantial renovations took place between 1879 to 1881 to deliver what was described as an “affluent Victorian” jewel. The beautiful wooden bar, bespoke clocks, mirrors and archways were in keeping with the aspirational mercantile spirit of South Great George’s Street which was already home to the grand Pim’s department store and just a few years later to Dockrell’s.
The team in the Long Hall, led by Marcus Houlihan have zealously guarded its character and history, apart from electric lights and a modern cash register there is little to dissuade a visitor that they’ve just stepped back in time 120 years to an era of Victorian splendour, though they do have a very modern selections of craft beers and whiskeys. The pub is still enjoyed by its locals, many visitors in search of the authentic Dublin pub experience and even by the occasional celebrity; Brendan Behan was known to enjoy a pint and a song, while the Long Hall also features in Phil Lynott’s video for “Old Town” (1:39 in) . In recent years everyone from Bruce Springstreen to Sean Penn and even Rihanna have been known to drop in for a pint when they’re in town!