In memory of Tom O’Neill!

In memory of Tom O’Neill!

In a year of sad passings, with a heavy heart we must add another well known & loved figure to the list. Tom O’Neill, owner of one of the best known session pubs in Ireland, will now be pulling pints for the likes of Tommy Peoples, Liam O’Flynn & Alec Finn at that great session above.

On Friday the 23rd of November 2018 our good friend Tom O’Neill was laid to rest by the beautiful St. Patrick’s Church, in Culfeightrin, in the Glens of Antrim.

Deepest condolences to his wife Eileen, son James and the family circle, as well as to Tom’s very wide circle of friends."

i took the photos posted here during Irish Music Sessions in his pub, the House of McDonnell & they show Tom in his natural setting, in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim. This wonderful old pub, which has been in Tom’s family since 1766 is actually where Tom was born & thanks to being largely unchanged over the years, it is now Grade A Listed & a great classic among Irish pubs. It is also one of the finest Irish Traditional Music session pubs in the country & with Tom & Eileen at the helm, you were always guaranteed a warm welcome from these perfect hosts. Tom’s legendary Friday night session has certainly been the highlight of my week now since the early 1990s.

The music I’m playing here is the Traditional Irish Air, An Saighdiúir Tréigthe & my favourite from the classic album Skara Brae, & I’m playing it on my Hammered Dulcimer, an instrument synonymous with the Glens of Antrim, plus Fiddle, English Concertina & Whistle.

* * * * *

Re: In memory of Tom O’Neill!

Desperate news Ptarmigan but thanks for letting people know. Any idea what the future holds for the pub now?

Re: In memory of Tom O’Neill!

The good news is that Eileen & James are keen to keep her going, so it should be open again in a couple of weeks.

Let’s face it, there is so much history & music tied up in this wonderful old pub that it’d be a real tragedy if it were ever to close.

Thank goodness too, with it being Grade A Listed both inside & out, that if, in the future, it were ever to be sold, it can never be butchered & lost, like so many great pubs.

From 1:35 in this video you see Tom, in his regular spot by the large mirror, enjoying the music at one of his regular Friday night sessions.


Re: In memory of Tom O’Neill!

Nice tribute, Dick.