With a country pub and eatery, in a spot like East Cork’s Shanagarry with an international through-put of visitors, you’d never know who or what would wash up on your doorstep, or when.
But, a ghost ship is sort of a tale out of the unexpected, even for a place as used to the unusual as the Goalpost bar, in the village community of Shanagarry. It’s located next to the local GAA club, as well as being close to the mothership of Irish hospitality, the Ballymaloe ‘Enterprise’ and its satellite spin-offs.
The village bar the Goalpost was wide open in recent weeks as visitors, and international media including the BBC, flocked to the East Cork shoreline to get a view of the the 80-metre MV Alta: the ghost ship had washed up on an Irish shoreline near Ballycotton after Storm Dennis, crewless, having floated adrift from the Caribbean, since 2018, across the Atlantic.
Truly, a coastal community bar sees and hears many things, and the Goalpost’s regular local clientele is often boosted by visitors and students at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, or from its LitFest, or just the nexus of guests at the famed country house at the centre of this East Cork tourism hub.
Apart from a seasonal summer swell of tourists, it also benefits from proximity to the Kilkenny Design Centre — previously the Stephen Pearce Emporium, while the opening this weekend of Sea Church in nearby Ballycotton as a 120-seat live music venue will bring further focus to the entire coastal hinterland.
It’s also at the centre of sporting events, with local GAA club Russell Rovers having made the All-Ireland Junior Hurling Final in Croke Park in January.
The owners and operators of the Goalpost, Margaret and Seamus Crowley, have now put their bar and restaurant back up for sale, after 20 years in the hospitality business, seeking to retire, having initially offered it for sale a few years ago.
It’s offered via Midleton-based estate agent Adrianna Hegarty, with a €345,000 price guide, who notes that after the wider economic recovery, new homes in the nearby SeaField Shanagarry upmarket residential development are selling for over €400,000.
That €345k guide is for a residential licensed premises, with c 3,700 sq ft in all, and about 2,000 sq ft at ground with commercial kitchen and basement cellar. Ms Hegarty says it has had a very good year’s trade in 2019.