Listowel, County Kerry, has about 4,000 Irishmen and 45 pubs.
It sounds like Fishtown, but Penn Charter grad Trevor O’Driscoll says it’s another world.
“There’s really not much I’ve ever seen that’s like this place,” O’Driscoll said about Finucane’s, the bar he won this week in the annual Guinness Win Your Own Pub in Ireland contest.
“I’m really not going to make any drastic changes to start with. Maybe I’ll bring a few things from home, like my autographed baseball from Mike Schmidt.”
When Joe Sixpack spoke with the 22-year-old Northeast Philadelphia native last week, he was still having a tough time coming to terms with his new career. One of 65,000 contest entrants, he was handed the pub keys after besting nine other finalists in dart-throwing, pint-pouring and Irish B.S.-ing.
He dressed as a Gaelic storyteller known as a seanachai to wow the judges with the following tale:
“Finucane’s . . . year 2098. O’Driscoll IV: publican – by fate, great granddad (a Yank!) journeyed here first, filled with dreams of satisfying thirst. His ghost watched every pint poured; fortified by time, the pub’s legend – secured. Some say: `Fairytale!’ You’ll see it’s no myth. ‘Tis Driscoll’s eternal joy, each Guinness settles with.”
Sounds like the dude may have downed a few pints before he picked up his pen.
“Guinness was my inspiration throughout the whole contest,” laughed O’Driscoll, who now lives in a New York City apartment.
Three of the four previous pub winners have since sold their pubs. I wondered if O’Driscoll is in the biz for the long haul.
“My family is in West Norriton, but there’s really nothing holding me back in the States,” he said. A graduate of Brown University, he had been working as a legal assistant in New York. “This is a whole new path in my life. Clearly, I’m a publican now.”
O’Driscoll will be back in town this weekend. You might catch him sipping a pint or two at one of his old, local haunts, like Cavanaugh’s in University City or McNally’s in Chestnut Hill. If not, he’ll pour you one at Finucane’s.