Lise Hand: Being ordered to write about love in February is a gigantic pain in the arse, so I went to the pub instead

Ireland’s enduring love affair is with our greatest pubs, where the stories, yarns, tall tales, banter and argument add to that distinctive scent which is baked into the very walls of these time-honoured houses

‘Like other forms of culture, a good pub is rooted in the community and serves up not just drink but a sense of belonging and camaraderie. We sensed their loss while they were shut’

“In time of trouble and lousy strife,

You have still got a darlint plan

You still can turn to a brighter life -

A pint of plain is your only man.”

(The Workman’s Friend, a ‘pome’ attributed to Jem Casey in At-Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every single person in possession of a column during February must write about love. They may write about finding it, losing it, finding ...