Beezie's, Co. Sligo

This hostelry is dedicated to the memory of Beezie Gallagher, in reverence and respect for a truly remarkable woman. Beezie was born in the 1860s and reared on Cottage Island in Lough Gill near Sligo town. Her early years were spent as a housemaid to the Wynne family, who at that time lived in Hazelwood House, the demesne of which spread out on all sides to include Lough Gill and surrounding countryside. She later returned to spend all of her adult life on the island she loved. It was there she developed the many fascinating characteristics which make her remembered today.

Being so alone and protected from society, she turned to nature for her companionship. The birds, squirrels, domestic animals and even the rodents grew to trust and love her. Jimbo McCarrick, her great friend and protector, tells of the swans sitting in her kitchen and eating from her hand, and again of her banning from the island a visitor who dared to throw a stone at a friendly rat.

The most endearing aspect of her personality was her natural sense of hospitality and welcome, and it is this we would most like to emulate here in O'Connell St, Sligo. The many and frequent visitors to Lough Gill would be always welcome to call, and the kettle would be boiled or the damp coat dried with the natural graciousness of the true hostess. She might then recount the famous visitors to Hazelwood House in her youth and imitate in a most talented fashion their speech and movement.

Whatever the story or the circumstances of the visit the time spent with Beezie was always entertaining and the impact of her noble character guaranteed she was never forgotten. Beezie died on the island she loved in 1951. She had visited Sligo town on Christmas Eve and had rowed out to her home from Dooney Rock nearby. When friends came to cut timber for her some days later, they found her burned to death in her island home. With her passed another age, another time, when life was slower, nature closer and hospitality normal.

Brochure for visitors to Beezie's

Dedicated to one of Sligo's loveliest spirits, Beezie's is spacious and tasteful. From the moment the traveller steps under the green awning and enters the pleasingly Victorian ambience of palm trees, stained glass, and lamps with green glass shades, he is sure of respite from weariness. The long front bar is partitioned in classic Irish style. The central lounge is peacefully illuminated by a large skylight, and a marble columned fireplace with green tile adds a nice touch. On the wall, among other things, are photos of Beezie, which make you wish you knew her, and an amusing extract from an Irish travel diary dated 1877.

You can find Beezie's on O'Connell Street in Sligo.

From the Appletree Press title: The Irish Pub Guide.
Also from Appletree: Irish Pub Songs.