Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush Centanary


The Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush pub on Haddington Road has a long and storied history.

Taking its name for the now-defunct barracks nearby, a pub has occupied the site for 210 years, and now a very personal anniversary is about to be celebrated: the Beggar’s Bush will mark one hundred years under the management of the Ryan family.

The pub’s proximity to Landsdowne Road makes it a fixture in the weekend routine of many, some of whom only frequent the bar après match but are, in that capacity, regulars of many years standing. NewsFour spoke with the bar’s current proprietor Peter Ryan:
“The actual centenary celebrations are set for the 17th through 19th of May” he explained “which also happens to straddle the Heineken Cup Final, on the 18th. That’ll be a busy Saturday.”
He continued: “The idea is to host a mini-festival. We’ll have a marquee, barbeque and a range of live music to try and suit people’s tastes. There’ll be a trad band, a jazz band, that sort of thing. Guinness have agreed to sponsor the event, so we have pint glasses engraved with the anniversary logo, commemorative beermats, and banners which are going up as we speak.” He added, with humour: “We’re aware that the pints glasses will disappear over the weekend. We’re really expecting people to take them. The regulars feel a great affinity with the place.”

This observation brought us around to the topic of regulars. Peter continued: “I think we have one of the most unique customer bases in the country. Five generations of Ryans have run the pub, nephews, nieces, sons and daughters have manned the bar and the same is true on the other side of things. We have regular customers who are the sons of my father’s generation of regulars, so there’s an intergenerational bond between staff and the people who drink and socialise here.”

Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush was for a time under the ownership of the Office of Public Works, who for many years harboured a plan to establish a Kennedy Memorial Hall on the site. This never came to pass but through these years the Ryans retainted management of the pub.
“The man from the OPW would arrive on Holy Thursday to take the keys and return on Holy Saturday to give them back. Practically speaking, that’s all their propriety over the place amounted to.”

Was there was a source of information on the history of the pub for the public?
“There will be a flyer circulated with a potted history of the bar. My grandfather Thomas, who also owned the 51 bar nearby, he purchased the Beggar’s Bush in 1913. In fact, part of the reason Guinness have been so co-operative is the fact that we’ve had an account with them for 100 years. They still have the ledger with my grandfather’s name entered.”


By Ruairi Conneely