Established in 1885, this centrally located pub on the corner of Pearse Street and Shaw Street is easily recognised by the well-maintained floral baskets that brighten up the street outside.
Inside, this cosy bar has kept its Victorian character and charm (two bars have lots of little alcoves and snugs) and serves a good range of reasonably priced home-cooked food - typically steak champignon with red wine sauce, served with French fries and an attractive salad; lamb filo parcels with mint yoghurt and chilli con carne - all good value.
It is run in a quirky, laid-back Dublinesque manner that seems to be straight out of James Joyce - and, depending on your mood or outlook, will amuse or infuriate.
Although quite expensive for simple accommodation, O'Neills is conveniently located and useful to know about. It would have particular appeal for a fairly youthful clientele, with the advantage of the fine old pub on site.
Entry directly off the street and up steep stairs to a tiny lounge/lobby would not suit the elderly, disabled or visitors with heavy luggage. The eight rooms are spread over three floors, all serviced by the narrow stairway. The pine-furnished bedrooms are basic, clean and comfortable enough with good space and ensuite shower; however light sleepers should avoid rooms facing the street which are subject to traffic noise.
Breakfast, which is charged extra, is served in a fine space at the corner of the building over the pub.