West of the river, in the interesting old part of Athlone town near the Norman castle (which has a particularly good visitors’ centre for history and information on the area, including flora and fauna of the Shannon), this seriously historic bar lays claim to being the pub with the longest continuous use in Ireland, all owners since 900 AD are on record. (It has actually been certified by the National Museum as the oldest pub in Britain and Ireland - and the all-Europe title is under investigation.)
Dimly-lit, with a mahogany bar, mirrored shelving, open fire and an enormous settle bed, the bar has become popular with the local student population and is very handy for visitors cruising the Shannon.
The sloping floor is a particularly interesting feature, cleverly constructed to ensure that flood water drained back down to the river as the waters subsided. A glass case containing a section of old wattle wall original to the building highlights the age of the bar, but it’s far from being a museum piece.
Food is restricted to sandwiches (Mon-Sat), but they serve a great pint.