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10 of Ireland's cosiest pubs for a drink by the fire

You can vote for your favourite inside.

WINTER IS WELL and truly here now and while we may lament the end of the grand stretch in the evening, the season does have its perks.

From wrapping up in cosy layers to enjoying really hearty foods like soups and stews to heading to the pub and setting up camp in front of the fire for the evening, there’s a lot to be said for darker, colder nights.

We’ve rounded up ten of the cosiest pubs in Ireland to check out this winter. They’re all shortlisted on the Bord Na Móna Fuels Hearth Session search for cosiest pub with a fire in Ireland – and you can vote for your favourite below.

1. Harbour Bar, Bray

The Harbour Bar has been around since 1872 and was once both a bar and an undertakers. It featured in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and Joyce was often seen propping up the bar – or relaxing in front of that gorgeous open fire. The perfect place to bring a book to and spend a lazy afternoon.

2. The Strand Bar, Strandhill, Sligo

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The Strand Bar, Strandhill, Sligo is just minutes from a great surfing spot in the Atlantic. But if you fancy your pints while you’re still dry head inside and check out the roaring open fireplace there. The pub’s been around since 1913 and used to be a guest house but is now run by the three Byrne brothers.

3. The Oval, Cork

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The Oval was established in 1759 on Cork’s oldest street right opposite the Beamish and Crawford Brewery and was designed in a Mackintosh-style. It gets its name from its oval ceiling and is a great place to head to for a quiet pint in front of the open fire.

4. Sean’s Bar, Athlone, Co Westmeath

Laying claim to the title of the oldest bar in Europe and over a thousand years old, Seán’s Bar in Athlone is on the banks of the River Shannon and close to Athlone Castle, which itself dates from the 12 century. The open turf fire is quite the draw on a long winter night – if you can get a coveted spot in front of it.

5. Kelly’s On The Green, Birr, Co Offaly

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Known for being a friendly pub that serves food and excellent Guinness, among other drinks, Kelly’s On The Green is where to head if you fancy watching a big game or just fancy a stop before or after heading to Birr Castle for some culture.

6. Silken Thomas, Kildare

Silken Thomas has been around for over 30 years and was named after Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, known by that name for his fancy clothes and the silk banners carried by his standard bearers. Silken Thomas comprises a restaurant and guest house as well as the pub and is just the spot to plop yourself in front of the fire.

7. The Merry Ploughboy, Rathfarnham, Dublin

The Merry Ploughboys are both pub and a band and both have been around for the past 25 years.  The band members of The Merry Ploughboys own and run the pub, The Merry Ploughboy Irish Music Pub making it the only music venue in Ireland owned and run by the musicians themselves. There is traditional live music every night and regular Irish dancing shows up on stage. And you can, of course, have your dinner or a drink in front of the roaring fire.

8. O’Connor’s, Salthill, Galway

O’Connor’s of Salthill, Co Galway was established by Thomas O’Connor who had thirteen children. The pub is run by the third generation of O’Connors today and you can take the shortest walking tour of Ireland or to check out the famous whiskey wall.

9. Nancy Blakes, Limerick

Nancy Blakes in Denmark Street, Limerick is a traditional Irish pub in the city, and renowned for its real, authentic charm – down to the sawdust on the floor. This fireplace had Jameson whiskey bricked up behind it for safekeeping a few hundred years ago – but clearly there was never a “dire need” for it. That’s obviously not the fireplace you’ll be cosying up in front of, of course. There’s traditional Irish music every Sunday and live music on Wednesday and Thursday night too.

10. Johnson’s Pub, Newbridge, Co Kildare

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This pub on Newbridge Main Street has been run by the Johnson family for over 40 years. The pub has live traditional music on Fridays and a live band on Sundays, where a little dancing tends to happen and it’s well known as a sports lover’s pub. There is also the open fire to settle yourself in front of in quieter times.

What’s your favourite cosy pub with a fire? Head over to Bord na Móna Fuel’s Facebook page to vote for your favourite. Three finalist pubs will win a Hearth Session with Róisín O and Brave Giant – and you could be going to a session too. #WarmerMoment

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