Buncrana bar displays raise spirits despite being closed due to COVID restrictions

The owners of a well-known Buncrana bar have been bringing much cheer and colour to the town, despite having been locked down for most of the year.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 10:32 am

O’Flaherty’s Bar, which is located on the Main Street, has always been lavishly decorated when events like Easter and Christmas come around.

But, with the bar closed due to Covid 19 restrictions, it looked like those decorations, some of them up to 20 years old, would have to remain in storage for the time being.

However, owner Jean O’Flaherty had other ideas and decided that if people couldn’t come inside, she’d bring the decorations and fun to them.


At Halloween, ghosts, ghouls and skeletons flew over the bar and the street, creating many a photo opportunity for young and old alike. The Christmas scene was also a huge hit, with a snow machine, twinkling lights, a Santa’s letter post box and much more delighting children in the town and beyond. There were hearts for Valentine’s Day and shamrocks for St Patrick’s Day. And this week, the bar is festooned with eggs and the Easter bunny.

Jean’s efforts have led to smiles and laughter during a trying time for many and she told the Journal how she’s delighted with the response.

“I would have always done up the bar inside. There isn’t a year where we wouldn’t do something. One day, I looked outside and the street just looked so bleak. That’s hard, when you’re used to hustle and bustle. I decided to do up the bar outside to cheer up the street and also do something for the community. We’re blessed with the community in Buncrana and they always give us support. I didn’t think it would go down as well as it has, but it’s brilliant.”

Jeans makes some of the decorations herself and also tries to source as many as she can locally. She told how she, too, gets a ‘real kick’ out of creating the displays, which on many occasion features the ‘legend’ that is Coco the resident gorilla.