McQuaig’s Pub

| July 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

McQuaig’s Pub is the heart and soul of Rathlin. It sits right on Church Bay, which is where all visitors arrive on the Island. As you approach Rathlin, you see St. Thomas Church on your left and McQuaigs on your right. While Catholics and Protestants have always lived peacefully together, the political dominance of the Protestants is illustrated by the prominence of St. Thomas, the Protestant church, which also includes the islands only cemetery.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception is located about a quarter mile inland from St. Thomas on a hill surrounded by trees. Since we weren’t there on a Sunday, we were unable to evaluate the relative attendance at the two churches. But all of our relatives are and were Catholic. No doubt most of the 140 residents of the island share that affiliation, at least by tradition.

But back to McQuaig’s. It was our very first stop. And, of course, the

Katrina, in one of multiple roles on Rathlin, between Bob and me

Katrina, in one of her multiple roles on Rathlin, between Bob and me

bartender, Katrina, knew we were coming. Katrina is a young blonde-haired woman of about 30. Bob knew her family, of course. In a very sad tragedy, I found out later that her father died at sea only about five years ago. He was an accomplished diver who went out one morning and didn’t come back. First his empty boat was found, then later his body was found. He’d had a heart attack, but it is unclear whether that was the cause or effect of whatever happened in that boat that day.

This is turning into a very long post. Every paragraph I begin leads to a digression.

So, back to McQuaig’s….

It is a simple bar with an attached dining room (newly built, I’m told). Bob and Richard knew a number of people who happened to be there at 7:30 on a Monday night. We had a relatively quick dinner at the bar. As we were leaving a number of people were coming through the door with musical instruments. Clearly, there would be a “session” tonight. Would need to return, after we dropped the luggage at the house.

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