Paddy O’Brien at work in McDaid’s, from Bord Fáilte Archive, Dublin City Council collections.
John Ryan’s memoir Remembering How We Stood may be the most battered book on my bookshelf, which is a remarkable achievement in itself. It has the tea cup stains, dog-eared pages and the scrawled notes of a truly loved and enjoyed book. It is, in essence, the tale of a man who went to an auction to buy an electric toaster and came back an accidental publican. Ryan was infinitely more than that, and as an artist, publisher, broadcaster and critic he left a fine legacy of work behind. His memoir is packed full of little gems like this:
A man I knew was taking a stroll down Grafton Street one day when he happened to overhear part of a discussion which three citizens were having outside Mitchell’s Café. The gist of their dialogue was that…
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