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The Three Things I Learned During My Weekend in Ireland

Continued from page 13

The Shelbourne Hotel

memorialized; the wall stretches through the present, with room to
There were two interesting stories our cabbie told us about the
wall of those killed, presumably by Protestant factions,8 involving
lawyers. The attorneys were Pat Finucane (1989) and Rosemary
Nelson (1999); both individuals were killed immediately following
criminal trials where they represented defendant agents of the IRA
who were acquitted. Both attorneys paid with their life for their
successful representation.
About an hour and a half after the tour began, while headed
back to The Europa,9 I asked our cabbie what he thought about
the modern-notorious bar we wanted to check out. His response:
"I'd be worried about my dog's safety if it set foot in that hole."
I laughed, and immediately after getting out of the cab I told
Ken, "I'm not going to that bar." Ken still wanted to go; I won
the argument to pass on the bar. Third lesson: When the grizzled
Belfast cabbie says his dog might die in a bar, don't go to that bar. 10
Upon our return to the hotel, checking one and three off
our list, I was determined to find the elder bartender from the

documentary. We located him immediately, sat down, and the bar
being lightly crowded, we were able to strike-up a conversation
with him about the Hotel's history.
This is where it hit me. Every-other-beer he was pouring for
customers was Coors Light! And, even though we were in a hotel,
these customers appeared to be Irish!11 We made our way across
the street to the oldest bar in Belfast where we spent most of the
remainder of the night: almost universally Coors Light being
poured! And it's easy to tell in Ireland; like most of Europe, when
you order a beer they pour it in a glass that corresponds to the beer
The final day was great, too. We went to a bunch of bars in
Dublin and they all looked like The Ugly Oyster.
Matthew M. Setley, Esquire, is an associate with the
Wyomissing law firm Georgeadis||Setley.

Our cab driver believed many of the Catholics killed were killed by professional British soldiers in plain clothes; I
don't know the details of the infighting enough to say whether this is accurate, but this is certainly what he believed.
Our cab driver told us that The Europa became the most bombed hotel in European history due to the fact that its
former owner refused to pay tribute to the IRA during The Troubles.
If anyone is going to Belfast and would like to roll the dice and visit this bar, against our cabbie's advice, let me
know and I'll gladly give you the name and address and, if you're lucky, you can tell me if I made the right decision.
From what we could tell, we were the only tourists in all of Belfast.

14 | Berks Barrister

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