It's official: Farren's is the best pub in Ireland

There were celebrations in Malin Head this week as the iconic Farren's Pub was named the '˜Best Bar in Ireland.'

Ali Farren, Pauline Moriaty, Hugh Farren owner of Farrens Bar, Catherine and Paul Hanley at the ceremony.
Ali Farren, Pauline Moriaty, Hugh Farren owner of Farrens Bar, Catherine and Paul Hanley at the ceremony.

The well-known pub, which is not only popular with Inishowen locals but also visitors from Derry and beyond, won the prestigious accolade at the Irish Hospitality Awards 2018 in Dublin on Tuesday night.

Hugh Farren, who owns and runs the bar, said they were “delighted and shocked” when their name was called out at the glitzy event.

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He said: “We went down to enjoy ourselves. I didn’t even have a speech as I didn’t think I’d need one. When they said we’d won it was just a surreal feeling. We’re just over the moon.”

Yoda mural at Farren's Bar, Malin Head.

Hugh, who is the sixth generation of his family to run the bar and took over from his parents Emmett and Theresa, attributed Farren’s continued success and popularity to two elements.

He said: “You need two things - good staff and good customers - and we have both. Whether you’re from Derry, Malin Head or further afield, you walk away from here with an experience you’ve never had before. And everyone is a local, no matter where they’re from. I think we’ve still got the old values of having a chat and good craic.”

Hugh said the award is for his staff, customers and everyone associated with Farren’s, which first opened its doors in 1825.

“I’m only lifting it on behalf of my family, friends, staff, customers and the people of the area.

“It’s all because of them. They’re the people who come in here and have the craic. The whole area benefits from this and we’re delighted. We’ll be celebrating for a while.”


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Hugh said everyone is now looking forward to a “great summer,” with the Irish Open being hosted in Inishowen in July and the huge boost the filming of Star Wars in Malin Head will bring to the area.

Farren’s win is the second positive for Malin Head in a week, as the area featured prominently in a ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ feature in UK newspaper ‘The Metro.’ Journalist Almara Abgarian tells of how the area was used for Star Wars filming and outlines areas of interest for the reader. She also recommends Lisfanoon beach, Tullagh Bay, Kinnego Bay, Nancy’s Barn and McGrory’s, among others. See Incidentally, today is May 4, also known as ‘Star Wars Day’