County Mayo

The road from Bangor to Mulrany twists and turns, taking you through some of Ireland's most hauntingly barren countryside. There is only one town along its entire length, Ballycroy. Perhaps the town should be renamed Cleary's, as this pub-grocer's/ social centre/ post office is the town. There's even a 'phone booth outside. 'Provisions Store', it says in the window, and the sign says, 'CLEARY'S BAR GROCERY'. Phyllis Cleary, who has run the establishment for years, is a first cousin of Eileen O'Casey, widow of the playwright Seán O'Casey.

Cleary's has been the domain of the Cleary family for over 150 years and is the centre of many community activities. If you visit on a Sunday after mass you will probably meet the entire population of Ballycroy - the chapel is just behind the pub. After mass, the men gather in one of the bars, the women in the other, while the children flock to the grocery for comics and chocolate.

Ballycroy, on the N59 road from Bangor to Mullrany

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