You will find this place in every tourist guide about Galway City that you will ever read and for good reason. There is simply no other pub in Galway that gets such a diverse and interesting clientele. Business people, actors, hippies, buskers and tourists all mingle in close confines, once inside the door all are equal here. Indeed Allen Ginsberg was known to enjoy a pint here when he was in town. Full of snugs to settle into, you can never just stay for the one pint here. Its energetic and helpful staff add to the eclectic atmosphere.
De Dannan in Naughton's in 1983
Neachtain’s is at the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street right in the middle of the City. This place has bucket loads of history for anyone looking for the authentic pub experience. It has been run by the Neachtain family since 1894 who had a pub on High Street before they moved in here. Jimmy Mcguire who is the grandson of the original owner is the current proprietor. Although the pub has expanded over the years it has retained all of its character with wood panelling from a convent used in parts of the pub. The building was bought with savings earned by Sean Neachtain (originally from Spiddal) working for a period in the Gold rich City of Melbourne Australia. The premises was machine gunned in the War of Independence(1919-1921) by the English Black and Tans who objected to the family displaying their name in Irish. However it the history goes back even further than that as the plaque outside the Cross street entrance will tell you. It was once the townhouse of Richard “Humanity Dick” Martin, M.P. The nickname comes from the fact that he co-founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He also founded Galways first theatre, championed civil rights and employed Theobald Wolfe Tone who went on to fame himself by leading the 1798 Irish Rebellion. As one of the tribes of Galway the Martin family had many other famous and infamous members.
Inside you will see a lot of posters for plays and past festivals in Galway which reflects its bohemian crowd and close proximity to the Druid Theatre across the street. There are also some beautiful antique nautical charts of Galway bay on display.
Whether it’s a sunny day in July and you are sitting outside drinking a cool pint or a rainy night in February sitting by the fire there is no bad time of year for Neachtain’s.
Host to music sessions regularly you can catch a great blend of music here from Trad Irish to Jazz, if you can squeeze in. Definitely recommended on a Sunday evening when you will catch some amazing sessions.
Neachtain’s is a must for everyone who comes to Galway and a definite Pub Guide favourite.17 Cross StreetGalway