O’Neill’s appeared to be the perfect pub: dark wood tables, bars glittering with mirrors and bottles, signs and posters decorating the wooden walls, and plenty of cozy nooks and crannies in which to enjoy a pint or two. Having existed as a licensed premises for 300 years, this pub sits on a thousand years of history. I read that excavations on this street had unearthed weapons from the Norse period which are now displayed in the National Museum of Ireland.
We parked ourselves at a table near the entrance, but quickly decided to move to a different table deeper into the bar. Shortly after settling into our new spot, I felt around for my familiar little black bag. A cold sweat came over me when I realized it was not there — I had left it at the other table, somewhere in the murkiness underneath.
Frantic inside — although I was comforted to remember I had no money or important things inside other than guidebook information and camera batteries, I raced to the bar to ask the bartender if someone had turned in a black purse. He produced a gigantic bag — it was not mine. After giving me a finger signal to hold on a few minutes while he served some thirsty customers, he soon returned from the back with my own little purse — everything intact! This was emphatic proof of Irish honesty — not only had no one stolen my purse nor removed a thing from inside, someone had turned it in so that I would find it.
Now that my bag was safely back in hand, we relaxed to enjoy the Irish vibe. We ordered two plates of pub grub and some Guinness.
Mom was enamored of her cute half-pint Guinness glass so Dad asked the young bartender near our table if they could possibly buy one. The bartender said in a low voice, “They aren’t officially for sale, so just slip it away, unseen.” So into Mom’s purse it slid, unseen. On our way out, we quietly thanked him. The rest of the trip Mom carried that little glass packed carefully among her underwear so it wouldn’t break.