McCarthy’s Bar

McCarthy's Bar

Pete McCarthy wrote a great book called, McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland which I and my wife have both read through and enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately Pete died in 2004 after being diagnosed with cancer but this book and his second are well worth reading.

I just noticed the discrepancy between the spelling of this bar in Castletownbere, and the photo of it on the front of book. I wonder if they had someone modify the image?

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s




  1. Reply
    Robin September 10, 2008

    Amazing colors, the place looks great…may have to add that to our list of places to visit next month.

  2. Reply
    Pete Connolly September 10, 2008

    I agree with Robin – really lush colours. I read the book as well , very funny. He’s a sad loss to writing. Obviously modified, but who cares, it fits his name and makes a good cover.

  3. Reply
    Mary September 11, 2008

    Myself and Muireann had a good laugh there a few weeks ago. A great spot and a great session as well.

  4. Reply
    Peggy September 11, 2008

    Hi Donnacha,Re your photo of the Western Star, fenced in behind scaffolding. I passed there today and the whole thing has been cleared, just a gaping hole left.Crying out for a photo?
    Best wishes

  5. Reply
    Donncha September 14, 2008

    Peggy – I spotted that myself but I was driving past and couldn’t stop. You’re right, must take a photo before they build over it!

    Robin – definitely a nice town to visit. Unlike Mary I didn’t get a chance to go into the pub, but make sure you visit The Copper Kettle for a nice lunch too!

  6. Reply
    David McDonald September 14, 2008

    Nice shot, love those colours – and it’s making me thirsty!
    I’ve read the McCarthy books too, fantastically funny read. So sad that he’s gone already.

  7. Reply
    Michael September 16, 2008

    Beautiful vivid colours and vignetting – I love that Holga/Diana look (although the digital way at least lets you decide what stays in focus). I just ordered a modded holga lens for my 40D to see if I can cut a bit of the postfx out of the process but would struggle either way to get anything to look anywhere near as “alive” as this does. Makes me miss going to pubs – the one’s we have out here are about as authentic as the chain variety you get in London.

    Gutted to read about Pete McCarthy dying – I had no idea – so out of touch with “the west” these days.

  8. Reply
    Michael September 16, 2008

    Or is the vignetting from the 10-22? That sounds like a nice piece of glass

  9. Reply
    Donncha September 16, 2008

    The new gimp lomo plugin had a lot to do with the vignetting on this photo. I haven’t got time these days to go fiddling for hours on end with photos, unfortunately. Get the plugin here:

  10. Reply
    Michael September 16, 2008

    Thanks Donncha – you’ve convinced me to have a crack at the GIMP

  11. Reply
    Suz November 18, 2008

    Hi – great picture of a great pub. Yes, they did have to modify the picture – the owners are MacCarthy’s but Pete McCarthy liked the place so much he wanted it on the front cover (btw, the pub dogs on the front cover belong to the owner’s mum, Mrs MacCarthy who is 90+ and an amazing woman – she still lives upstairs at the pub). I just noticed you posted this on 10 September – I got married in Castletownbere on the 13th and had our evening ‘do’ in McCarthy’s – I’m from Aus so had lots of friends and family visiting who thought it was the best pub ever – we couldnt get them out of the place!

  12. Reply
    kate taaffe January 7, 2010

    Met Nikki McCARTHY whilst on holiday in Thailand last year, great chats and laughs and I will just have to visit McCarthys bar this year, sounds interesting indeed and of course I have read THE BOOK! and it was so lovely to meet Nikki who regaled me with lots of stories about the bar. Definetely on the cards for 2010.

    Kate from Mullingar.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: