Meet the three friends spending Lockdown 2.0 in an iconic Clare pub

It's not just a lockdown lock-in. These three have huge plans to turn Daly's pub in Ennistymon into a creative space for musicians and artists who have been hardest hit by restrictions this year
Meet the three friends spending Lockdown 2.0 in an iconic Clare pub

Diarmaid Keane, Áine Leech and Kymann Power outside Daly's pub in Ennistymon, where they will be living through Lockdown 2.0.

Since the country’s original lockdown back in March when we became all-too-familiar with our own homes, we’ve all had plenty of time to think about where we’d rather be stuck indoors. For some, it’s a house in the country, for others a sleek city centre apartment. For three young people in Dublin, it’s a renowned trad pub in Co Clare.

Kymann Power spent the last few months scrolling through and when he saw a lease for an iconic pub in west Co Clare being advertised, he acted fast. Kymann, his girlfriend Áine Leech and their friend Diarmaid Keane upped sticks and moved from Dublin to Ennistymon last week to become the new proprietors of Daly’s pub for Lockdown 2.0.

The four-storey building has room for them all (the bedrooms overhead ensure no one is sleeping at the bar) and the trio is planning to broadcast a number of virtual sessions from the pub during lockdown, paying tribute to its traditional past.

Áine Leech outside Daly's of Ennistymon
Áine Leech outside Daly's of Ennistymon

Kymann owns a video and photo production company in Dublin called PowerHouse, Áine is a social media creative and consultant, while Diarmaid has over 10 years experience in event production and digital communications and they hope to combine their skills to put the pub to a creative use.

"We feel that one of the very unique things that we bring to this idea in Ennistymon is our resources: production, social and digital experience," Kymann told the Irish Examiner.

"Our aim is to take this experience and use it to the best of our ability to provide an infrastructure that helps traditional creative people (both local and national) such as musicians, artists and others who currently have no proper outlet for their work due to safety restrictions.

"We're looking for people to reach out with any ideas or even to put themselves forward to collaborate on projects that we can create within the special building that is Daly's Bar. After all, it was once home to Irish traditional music and more," he added.

Áine said they want to recreate the pub's musical history for an online audience.

“We’re living in it as a pub but the plan is we’re going to try to turn it into some kind of creative space with virtual gigs and that kind of thing. This was a trad bar back in the day and had brilliant acts coming in and out so we want to recreate that virtually now,” Áine told RTÉ 2FM.

She said they have fallen in love with Ennistymon and the locals have welcomed them with enthusiasm.

“The locals here have been so good to us. Eugene across the road in Eugene’s Bar taught us how to set up our own keg which has been brilliant,” she said.

“Ennistymon in Clare is just so steeped in trad music so I think the locals are excited to see the virtual trad back again in Daly’s.” 

Kymann Power outside Daly's in Ennistymon
Kymann Power outside Daly's in Ennistymon

Daly’s is steeped in local history and song, and used to be run by Willie Daly (yes, the famous matchmaker of Lisdoonvarna). It was also the pub where ‘Pint Baby’ was spotted supping a Guinness in 1997 on television.

“I’d say the walls could tell stories here,” Áine said.

“There’s loads of scrapbooks, pieces of paper behind the bar. The locals have been telling us some stories. Willie Daly’s granddaughter and daughter reached out to us to tell us they used to have jars of pennies and when the Irish dancers were dancing the coins would jingle that little bit more. We can’t wait to hear more stories when people can reach out to us.” 

Áine said their first virtual event might make use of some local talent.

Diarmaid Keane at Daly's, Ennistymon
Diarmaid Keane at Daly's, Ennistymon

“The original idea was to do a virtual event, hopefully with a few locals. The music around here is brilliant.” 

Áine, Dermot and Kymann expect to be living and working from Daly’s for at least “the next couple of months” and could extend their stay in Co Clare if their creative space proves successful.

You can find them on Instagram at @dalys.ennistymon.

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