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Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

McCusker’s Pub

Ballycultra Town building 30

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This is a replica building. The pub is modelled on a pub once situated at 2 Upper Irish Street, Armagh. The date of the pub’s construction on that site is unknown but the pub closed in 1970 and the building has since been demolished.

The large front windows bear an etched design incorporating a traditional pot-still advertisement for Old Bushmills Whiskey. This is based on similar advertisements known from a number of older pubs in Ulster.

The front display window advertised the pub’s wares.  It also gave privacy to the pub’s customers, which was important in those days when drinking was considered disreputable. Bushmills distillery assisted the project by sponsoring the cost of the windows.

The public room or bar was on the right of the door as one entered. There was a small, more private space or snug at the rear of the room. The pub had a regular, largely male clientele. Some customers preferred to drink ‘on the tick’ and pay up later, usually on pay day.

The Upper Irish Street premises had served as a pub for many decades. In 1911 the proprietor was a Mr Hugh Mc Cusker, spirit merchant. Mr McCusker died in the 1930s, but his widow Jane McCusker retained the license until the early 1960s. She died in 1964.

Look at the large front windows and their design incorporating a traditional pot-still advertisement for Old Bushmills Whiskey.