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RIP O’Flagherty’s PDF
Sunday, 27 June 2010 00:00

The Irish Pub in Ronda has closed down, throwing expat drinking into chaos in the Town of the Tajo.

Yes, O’Flagherty’s, the meeting point for expatriates of all nationalities, of locals, of passing tourists from all corners of the globe, and even of the local mayor, Antonio María Marín Lara, has finally shut its doors after a decade serving the needs of late drinkers in the town.

At a poignant last night last month, regulars were plied with free drinks, while the contents of the bar were sold off to the highest bidders.  Furniture, pictures and pub mirrors all went, leaving what was once a thriving bar just an empty shell.

Interestingly, the Irish Pub had no genuine Irish connections.  It was owned by Swedish businesswoman Carina Anderssen and run latterly by Argentinian Jan Kustra.  Nevertheless, it provided a reasonably authentic Irish atmosphere, with a well-kept Guinness and Murphy’s always on tap, as well as a range of fine whiskeys.  Maybe it lacked a regular singers’ night, but, hey, it did its job and we’ll miss it.

I first came across the bar on Calle Santa Cecilia when I was renovating a house nearby in 2005.  After a hard day’s graft, there was nothing better than several refreshing glasses of Cruzcampo lager and raucous banter with the “natives”.  I got to know loads of people through O’Flagherty’s: rondeños, as well as local British, Irish, Dutch, French, German and Swiss immigrants to the area, many of whom I would count among my friends.  When you were down, they would give you moral support; when you were upbeat, they would tell you to shut up, because they were down.

O’Flaherty’s,  as it was also spelt (the signs inside and out were different!), was a melting pot – a true microcosm of the global village.  Tourists and visitors "in the know" would turn up there in search of a room, guidance on excursions, where to eat, etc or just for a natter with a fellow free spirit.

Seamus, Michael, David, Gibraltar Mike, French Paul, Stuart, Miguel, Hans, Nick, Markus, Malcolm and Elaine and other regulars, we’ll all have to find a new base, because the Irish Pub in Ronda was truly our puento de encuentro.  We shall miss you.  RIP.

© Paul Whitelock

See also: St Patrick’s Day


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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