With the resurgent trad scene being spearheaded by a new generation of musicians who are embracing and redefining its sounds and boundaries, here are four of the best bars to catch trad music in Dublin’s North inner city.
A window of traditional instruments procures the curiosity of the passer-by, leading them into a cosy setting brimming with warmth coming from the many fireplaces and the welcoming staff. Its charm is encapsulated in conversations with the barflies while you wait for a Guinness to settle. McNeill’s host sessions every evening between Thursday and Saturday.
For five generations, the Mulligan family have established The Cobblestone as the quintessential pub to experience live traditional music. Nestled in the corner of Smithfield square, you can be assured of stumbling upon some of the finest trad musicians playing together in The Cobblestone every night of the week.
Of all of Dublin’s many pubs to experience Irish music, M. Hughes is somewhat of an enigma. From its exterior you may fail to recognise that its interior is snug and intimate. The bar is vast and decorated with an assortment of paraphernalia of the sporting and musical kind.
Known to draw an impressive crowd on Sunday and Monday evenings with their sessions featuring acclaimed musicians such as Lisa O’Neill, Walsh’s hospitality makes you instantly feel as though you are home among family. It’s central seclusion in Stoneybatter makes Walsh’s feel like you have stumbled into the city’s finest hideaway.
Words: Zara Hedderman, Portraits: Ruth Medjber