From quite a distance you can spot an old church ruin on a hill when driving near the M3 in Co. Meath. Curiosity being a traveler’s best friend when in Ireland, leads you to wander a few back roads in that direction and brings you to Skryne. You ascend up a lane and see a lovely pub called Foxes at the crossroads, but that curiosity takes you to the top of the lane to wander the old church ruins and there all of a sudden, tucked away behind a wall is the true jewel on the Hill of Skryne – O’Connell’s pub.
Like stepping back in time when you walk through the door, the small space invites you in to sit on the bench by the fire and hugs you hello with the best pint of Guinness around. The walls covered in pictures and clippings, old adverts and entertaining bits of decor.
You won’t find a television or even a radio, only good conversation. Up until 2012 you would have found Mrs. O (Mary O’Connell) herself, pulling the perfect pint since the 1940’s when she married James “Yankee” O’Connell who’s family had owned this pub since the early 1800s. Sadly she passed away, but her spirit of simple, genuine hospitality still lives on.
At one time this pub was also the local shop selling everything from bread, butter and rashers to bike tyres, wellie boots and veterinarian supplies; but now all you will find is a great pint, a bag of crisps and a magical step back in time full of friendly chit chat and nostalgia. Yet another “Must” for the list when in Ireland!
O’Connell’s pub has also been featured in the annual Christmas advert for Guinness beer.