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Local History Series – The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head pub, Dublin - Ireland's oldest pub

The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub, founded in 1198. The present building dates from the 1750’s. The pub was at its height in the mid 17th century, mainly due to the fact that the Father Matthew Bridge, on which the pub is situated, was the main crossing point from north to south Dublin at that time.

The pub was used by the United Irishmen to plan their strategy in plotting against British Rule. Robert Emmet kept a room on the premises, place over a passage by the main door so he could see possible enemies. He planned the 1803 rising from here. He tried to capture Dublin Castle, but this plan failed and he was arrested and sentenced to hang outside St Catherines Church, Thomas Street. The Hangman used to drink in The Brazen Head, as well. Emmet’s ghost is said to haunt the pub. The pub was almost destroyed in teh Easter Rising of 1916 and again during the civil war of 1922. The Brazen Head is also referred to in James Joyce’s “Ulysses”, ” you get a decent enough do at the Brazen Head for a bob”.

Fountain News DigitalThis article was originally published in:
Fountain News Digital – December 2010 (Issue 2)

We are re-publishing all articles from our past newsletter, Fountain News Digital, and you can view all completed newsletters here. There were nine issues published in total between 2010 and 2012.

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