John Kavanagh

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Words by Simon Difford on 30-May-2015

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Address: 1 Prospect Square, Dublin, County Dublin, 9, Ireland (Eire)
Tel: +353 (0)1 830 7978
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Thu 10:30am-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 10.30am-midnight, Sun 12:30-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar snacks
Established: 1833


Better known locally as 'The Gravediggers', Kavanagh's owes its nickname to being located next door to the gates to Glasnevin Cemetery, one of the largest in Europe with
the graves of many of Ireland's most prominent figures. Both the cemetery and Kavanagh's appear in James Joyce's 'Ulysses', in an episode in which the funeral party of Paddy Dignam retires to this pub.

Originally built as a residence in the early 1800s it was converted to a public house by John O'Neill in 1833. Two years later he gave the business to his son-in-law, John Kavanagh, and it has been owned by a Kavanagh ever since.

In the late 1800s a small shop was added and although the pub stopped selling provisions in the 1950s, the partition in the Western Bar that once separated the grocery section from the drinking area remains.

This most traditional of pubs is a taxi ride away from the centre of town but well worth the small fare. Walking into this dark functional rustic pub for the first time can be daunting but after a couple of drinks you'll fit right in. The Gravedigger's is the closest you'll get to an authentic old Dublin pub.

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