Brennan's Criterion Bar

Brennan’s Closing Night

After 118 years, on Sunday September 30th, Brennan’s Criterion Bar on Main Street closed its doors for the final time. We wish Patricia all the very best on her retirement.  Check out our gallery of photos courtesy of Matt Britton/Donegal Democrat.

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Patricia’s Main Street neighbour Cormac Meehan paid a glowing tribute to his dear friend.

Read the text of the speech here:

30 September 2018

The late James and Catherine Ward opened this licensed premises on 17 March 1900.  These were our good friend Patricia’s maternal grandparents.  In 1933 the late James Brennan and his wife, Mary Ward, took over the business.  Today, 118 years and 197 days after the original opening we gather to mark Patricia’s retirement and celebrate her and her family’s contribution to the fabric of Bundoran and the Northwest.

This place and the Brennan/Ward families have been and are neighbours, friends, parishoners, hospitality providers and confidants of many.  Patricia and her late sister, Nan, supported local sporting, community and trade groups.  They were an integral and very supportive part of our community.

Over the years Brennans has hosted national and international politicians, and enjoyed their company, religious and international and national business leaders.  The celebrated musician, songwriter and record producer, Phil Coulter is a regular patron.  The late Colin Welland, actor, screenwriter, BAFTA and Academy Award winner for the film “Chariots of Fire” called this place his local on his many visits to Bundoran.  It is believed that the Irish writer, Flann O’Brien, who was born in Strabane, visited here and had a “Pint of Plain” in the late 1950’s.  No doubt his literary efforts were inspired by Brennans.

With all this there is one thing certain, that once they enter Brennan’s Criterion Bar, regardless of gender, race, creed or social station, everyone is the same and is treated equally.

A “Criterion” is a rule or principal for evaluating or testing something.  It is a standard or benchmark.  Brennan’s is the standard that many licensed premises far and wide aspire to.

We are all very fortunate to have been patrons, friends and neighbours of the Brennan family.  Tonight, we wish Patricia good health and much happiness in the next chapter of her interesting, valuable and selfless life.  She will continue to be a neighbour, a friend, a parishioner and a very important member of our community.

Ladies and Gentlemen please join me in toasting Patricia and all the members of the Brennan and Ward families who have worked and lived in this house and served our community in so many and valuable ways..  Patricia, thank you and slainte.

Cormac Meehan

Thanks to the Donegal Democrat for permission to publish their pages of coverage from that week below:


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