Owner of Cork's iconic Hi-B bar passes away

Cork publican and local legend Brian O'Donnell has died.

Owner of Cork's iconic Hi-B bar passes away

Publican and owner of one of Cork's most famous pubs Brian O'Donnell has died.

Mr O'Donnell, who was the owner of the Hi-B bar on Oliver Plunkett Street, passed away in the early hours of this morning after a short illness.

His family made the announcement this morning, saying: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of my father Brian O’Donnell at 12.30am Friday morning in the Mercy Hospital after a short illness.

"On behalf of the family we would like to thank the wonderful staff of both St Luke’s Home and the Mercy Hospital for the wonderful care that he received over the last number of years. Arrangements to follow.

Funeral details are expected to be released later today.

In a profile of Mr O'Donnell in 2012, the Irish Examiner's Dan Buckley wrote the publican was "sometimes genial and more often grumpy despot who lives and reigns over the bar."

"Occasionally he will give over his reigning to do a bit of pouring but mostly you will find him either aloft or next to the fireplace, surrounded by newspapers and listening to classical music while watching for miscreants within range of his beady eyes and withering wit.

"His Pythonesque ways are legendary. Do not be surprised if he comes downstairs into the bar in his pyjamas. That might elicit a gasp of wonder in more ordinary bars but not in the Hi-B. His sartorial ways are well known and old customers still talk of the time he sat on a barstool in nothing but a tea-towel."

Read the full profile here.

Additional reporting by Eoin English

More in this section