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3 Harry Street, Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 679 4395
Review Highlights
Refused service while wearing a gay pride t shirt

Myself and a couple of friends thought we would call into this bar while we waited for the pride... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Levi G
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
via mobile
The demise of good Guinness and good manners

I recently had occasion to visit this once highly regarded establishment. I the past it was... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Cobh Co. Cork Ireland
Read all 94 reviews
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' I am a drinker with a writing problem'...the words of one infamous McDaids patron, Brendan Behan, and if ever there was a quote to raise an ironic smile then this was it. McDaids is now considered one of the most iconic Literary Pubs of Dublin not least thanks to Brendan, but it wasn't always so. In fact McDaids only became established as a true haunt for literary types after John Ryan, editor of the now defunct, Envoy magazine, began to attract all manner of writers and journalists here back in the late 1930's. The building that houses McDaids can be traced back to the late 18th century and is reputed to have housed the City Morgue. It took on it's more ecclesiastical features when it was taken over by the Moravian Brothers some time later. They developed the practice of standing their corpses in a vertical position and it's suggested this may be the reason for the very high ceilings in the pub. It went through a litany of owners and was known as William Daly's Bar before John McDaid purchased the pub in 1936. Paddy O'Brien, one of the most famous bartenders, not just in McDaids, but in the whole of Dublin, worked here from 1937 until 1972, and was quoted as saying that 'Davy Byrnes was the one truly literary pub back then, McDaids in fact was nothing at all. It was a dreadful place, just an ordinary pub with snugs, stained glass partitions, spittoons and sawdust' John Ryan was equally harsh in his assessment saying that McDaids was a dowdy little pub, the plainest possible but that was one of the things I liked. 90% of people were working class" Thanks to some well intentioned advice to the owner from Paddy, the interior was torn out, the place brightened up a bit and thanks to a little help from Mr Ryan, the rest as they say is history. Many literary greats have frequented here over the years but the 50's and 60's were the decades when the pub truly established it's now famous reputation. Brendan Behan, Paddy Kavanagh, Brian O'Nolan, Austin Clarke, Anthony Cronin, J.P. Donleavy and Liam O'Flaherty are just a handful of the famous writers that have graced the floors, quenched their thirsts and sought their inspiration in McDaids over the years and some of their portraits adorn the walls and look down now, perhaps in judgement, of the rather more sedate clientele that drink here these days. In the early 1980's the bar was relocated from left as you walk in, to it's now familiar position on the right. Whether that was to confuse patrons into not knowing whether they were coming or going, one can only summise. Whilst the walls may not be able to tell any stories from the bygone days, the latest generation of bartenders in McDaids are equally skilled in pouring pints of the black stuff and well versed in the history of this quite magnificent pub. So why not pop in, have a chat, a pint or two of Porter, and get a feel of what inspired those literary greats.
  • Excellent51%
  • Very good25%
  • Average7%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible13%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:30 - 23:30
3 Harry Street, Dublin, Ireland
South City Centre
+353 1 679 4395
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Reviews (94)
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1 - 10 of 89 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Myself and a couple of friends thought we would call into this bar while we waited for the pride parade to start. We noticed the bar was fairly empty and thought it would be a good choice to get a seat in and what not....More

Thank Levi G
Reviewed 1 week ago

I recently had occasion to visit this once highly regarded establishment. I the past it was renowned for very good beer, great conversation and courteous, professional staff who were trained bartenders. I was bitterly disappointed with the dreadful collapse of these qualities when I brought...More

Thank TitanicCobh
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Lovely tiles & stained windows add to the charm of this place. Nice pour of Guinness. Friendly people.

Thank Rebann54
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Great little pub lovely drink and atmosphere and I swear it was like I was in a scene from Harry Potter just off Grafton Street well worth a visit est 1873

Thank Liam D
Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

One of the best pints of Guinness I've had in Ireland and trust me I've had a few. Great staff who were interacting with customers. A pub where you feel at home. Will definitely be back :)

Thank kevket
Reviewed 19 May 2017

Excellent little bar where locals and tourists can relax with a pint and some great conversation. Was brought here by a local, and the charm of this place instantly won me over. Drink prices were decent, and they had some great beers that I hadn't...More

Thank miriah48
Reviewed 10 April 2017

Has all you need in a pub. Great atmosphere, efficient staff and good beer. The interior of the place looks fantastic and it has to be one of the most stylish small pubs in Dublin city centre. At the same time, the place is not...More

1  Thank Hermes797
Reviewed 24 March 2017 via mobile

I live in Sweden where I've owned a bar. I visited last Sunday with my mum and guests. We sat outside. It is a beautiful pub and there were two barmen working. One barman or maybe he was the manager was a tall man who...More

Thank buddymooney61
Reviewed 25 February 2017

tiny pub located in Grafton that serves only drinks. no food. Great place to rest and chill after a long day. Friendly service

Thank StellaStyle
Reviewed 22 February 2017

great pint in relaxing yet vibrant setting. The bar staff were friendly, professional and good craic. Location is great. No pubs actually on Grafton Street, this is about as close as you can get to a real pub near Grafton St

Thank Paul G
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