Owned by John Kirwan Jr., who has a 160-year history of fishing in his family and is a fourth-generation fisherman, Fisherman’s Catch is a popular fish shop and (sort of) takeaway right on the harbour at Port Oriel.
These days John Jr. runs the shop with his wife while his own son Jonathan, the youngest seine net skipper in Ireland, supplies them with fish from their boat Argonaut IV as soon as it gets into harbour after fishing in the Irish and Celtic seas.
While not classically picturesque, its pier-side location in a busy working harbour means the shop is only steps away from the boat and the fish is always spanking fresh – and you can put their handling expertise to good use too, so just ask them to skin or debone the fish, peel Dublin Bay prawns or shuck oysters for you while you wait.
The shop is open seven days a week, including bank holidays, and it’s always hopping. In addition to selling fresh fish, the Kirwans also make their own homemade sauces and fish cakes, and a great seafood chowder, which you can buy to take away in Styrofoam cups.
Make an event of a trip down by taking a walk on the cliff path next to the shop (on a good day the view from above the harbour is absolutely stunning) or just a stroll down the pier to look at the boats tied up in the harbour, or to spot one of the resident seals.
Or just grab a seat at the picnic table outside to enjoy a cup of chowder while looking out over the sea to the Cooley Mountains across the bay.