Canty's Celebrate 120 years

Ger Buttimer, Canty's proprietor, gets into the swing

The Famous Canty’s Celebrate

The famous Canty’s Public House on Pembroke Street is celebrating its 120th birthday with a series of events this month, highlighted by 80s Fancy Dress Reunions on May 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th. Another highlight comes on May 23rd when the History of Cork Boxing is celebrated. Stay in touch with the music and the craic all this month by following their Facebook Page.

I spent a very pleasant evening there last Thursday (photos here) when an exhibition of artefacts from the house’s history, including an ancient beer bottling machine (pictured), was launched. Well worth a look any day. Why not pop in for a lunch or a drink and take a look at the old cash registers and the exhibition of old photos and you’ll be sure of a warm welcome from owner Ger Buttimer and his staff.

The Buttimers took over the pub from the Cantys in 1978 and, structurally, very little has changed. The Cantys, regular visitors in any case, were there in force on Thursday to add their unique contributions after local historian and author Michael Lenihan had spoken.

Michael has done tremendous work in researching the history of the pub and the street and Ger Buttimer has also been caught in the quest. Michael, whose recent books include one titled Pure Cork, became an unwitting victim, having made a slip of the tongue and mentioning the similar name of another Cork pub. “Go away you langer” was the quick pure Cork response from a member of the audience!

But it was all in good humour and we all settled down to enjoy the history, the music, the drink and the food (supplied by neighbours Jacques).

Don’t know when all the music will stop for this birthday party but the history began in 1892 when the Canty name went over the door for the 1st time and started 120 years of tradition. Michael Lenihan: “This was indeed a historic year as this was the year that De Paper, the Evening Echo, first hit the streets of Cork.”

“The Cork Post Office Directory for 1842 lists Thomas Byrne as a vintner at No. 6 Pembroke Street and so there is documented evidence that a public house existed there since 1842 and most certainly before then.”

Proprietor Ger Buttimer: “We’d like to thank all of the customers, friends, suppliers and staff of Canty’s Bar as we look back on the last 120 years of the business. It is the characters, the dreamers, the storytellers and musicians who have made our pub a place of warmth and friendship. My father Barry bought this pub in 1978 and I have fond memories of coming here as a child.”

With Ger even now more enthusiastic than before, I think we can safely say that the warmth and friendship of Canty’s will continue for some time to come!

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