Proud distinction for unique Mayo rural public house

A Mayo rural bar and grocery has been named as one of Ireland’s top six best traditional pubs by Guardian Media.

Leonard's of Lahardane, founded in 1897, is described by the UK outlet as a classic Irish bar, whose hallmarks evoke the qualities of an earlier era.

The analysis by Vic O'Sullivan stated: "Set in the Windy Gap, a narrow winding stretch of road between Wild Nephin park and Lough Conn in County Mayo’s lush countryside, Leonard’s grocery and bar has been run by the same family for 80 years.

"Current owner JP recently overhauled the premises without compromising its integrity.

"Flagstone flooring, an open fireplace and warm timber furnishings offer a homely retreat from the exposed landscape.

"Where not original, the fixtures hail from historic buildings.

"The sash windows, countertops, fireplace panelling and doors are all reclaimed, allowing the property to retain its character without falling into disrepair or appearing shabby.

"The grocery and hardware store is not a gimmick like some of the faux-shops attached to tourist-oriented premises in locations such as Killarney or Galway.

"Its honeycomb shelves offer anything from livestock supplies to fresh food for a picnic in the hinterlands."

Tom Gilligan, director of services with Mayo County Council, has congratulated the Leonard family on their success.