Never pass a bar that has your name on it, says the eight rule of travel. A very rewarding rule if your name is McCarthy and you’re wandering through the West of Ireland.


Despite the many exotic places Pete McCarthy has visited, he finds that nowhere else can match the particular magic of Ireland, his mother’s homeland.  And therefore he embarks on a trip through this land renowned for its rain, its pints and its hitchhikers with fridges!
His mission is to visit every pub that shares his McCarthy name. And have a pint in each one of them!
In England Cathy Price went on a similar mission during her self-dubbed ‘Cathy’s Crazy Red Lion Pub Craw‘ where she went to have a drink in every Red Lion Pub in the UK (which happens to be the most common pub name in the UK as well).

However, Pete sticks to his namesake pubs.
He meanders, over a six-month period, from Cork  continuing along the west coast to Donegal in the north, he travels through spectacular landscapes, but at all times obeying the rule, “never pass a bar that has your name on it”. He encounters many McCarthy’s bars up and down the land. With the help of the bars’ steady supply of pints he explores his confused Irish-Anglo identity with colourful, friendly, funny and (logically, it is Ireland after all) drunk people. Only serious pleading gets him out of the notorious Irish lock-ins before 4 o’clock in the morning.

Pete McCarthy chronicled his trip in the kickass book McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland describing an amazing trip while encountering an even more amazing variety of people!

Best enjoyed with a pint or two!

McCarthy's bar book

Sources:, Wikipedia, The book McCarthy’s bar