Irish hospitality at its best - Connecting the past and the present

Peter Curtin extending Irish hospitality Roadside Tavern

In June 2018, seventeen members of the Lally and Masse clan from the United States stepped into the Roadside Tavern for refreshments. Now, Ireland is well known for its warm hospitality and a natural curiosity for the people passing through. But what this group didn’t expect was the special kind of hospitality they received from the owner himself, Peter Curtin.

Peter Curtin is not only the third generation owner of the Roadside Tavern, the master brewer of the Burren Brewery under the same roof as the Tavern, and an inventor. He is also a fountain of knowledge. Must be all the smoked salmon they smoke next door in the Burren Smokehouse!

So when the members of the Lally and Masse clan stepped into the Roadside Tavern, they also entered a kind of history hub. Peter and the visitors got talking, and it did not take long for them to discover thanks to Peter, that they might have a famous cousin – athlete and Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan no less! After their visit, one of the Masse family contacted her management company hoping that he can connect strands of the family history that are a bit sketchy.

Speaking of strands, it turned out that the Lally and Masse clan have connections to Lisdoonvarna through their ancestors called STRAND who used to have a Temperance Bar in Tivoli Terrace, Church Street.

Peter drew the connection and put them in contact with the current resident of that very same house who showed them the historical photo from the Lawrence Collection, taken in 1908 (below).

It seems that the musical roots and talent of today’s clan members stem from Lisdoonvarna. Among others it must have been Cathy Strand playing the accordion at the time, who passed on the musical genes to her descendants as one of them at least is a sought-after vocalist in his area.

So this is what can happen when you step into a pub in Ireland, and especially into the Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna – you might get more than just food and drink! This is Irish hospitality at its best.

P.S. We heard since that Sonia O’Sullivan has made contact, so a connection has been made!