Being a new recruit to Irish Country Living, my first task was to go to a comedy play 'The First Irish Coffee' running at the Laughter Lounge on Dublin’s Eden Quay.

With my trips to Dublin curtailed in recent years to mostly days out at Croke Park and the odd concert, I approached this jaunt with trepidation.

I admit I had succumbed to the rumours of how dangerous O’Connell Street had become and it was simply a ‘no-go’ after dark. But I consider myself a strong swimmer, so I thought I’d chance the dark waters.

Taking precautions, I parked safely in the depths of Dublin 2 and wandered down Grafton Street, across College Green and navigated the hustle of the evening commuters through Westmoreland Street, putting my head down as I approached O’Connell Bridge.


What the negative Nancys forget to preach about life in Dublin after dark is the buzz; buskers - now with amps and microphones, students, tourists, double-deckers and the Christmas lights on the streets glistening.

Moving among the multi-cultural folk of the city streets, I could feel the energy rejuvenating me.

As I waited for the lights to change on O’Connell Bridge, I tried to engage the eyes in the back of my head for the unsavoury antics I heard are associated with the O’Connell Street area, but all that caught my eye was the iconic Ha’penny Bridge lit up down the Liffey.

I followed the glow of the red lights to the Laughter Lounge along the river quays and as I went down the stairs, I made a smug note to self for defying the pessimism.


Settling in, a warm Irish coffee arrived and as I raised the glass, the aroma of fresh cream distracted my attention away from the atmospheric room.

I’ve had Irish coffees that were scalding hot after edging through chilled cream, but this version was bliss. The whiskey did not overtake the sugar, the sugar did not drown out the coffee and the water temperature did not give the roof of my mouth a fright... just like the show, all the ingredients married together perfectly.

New recruit to Irish Country Living Caitriona Bolger emerges from her rural cocoon on to the entertainment scene.

But back to the scene at large. This two-man play tells the story of Michael Nugent (a Dub, played by Luke Griffin) and Joe Sheridan (from Limerick, played by Aidan Moriarty) who are both said to have invented the Irish coffee.

With plenty of one liners back and forth between Nugent and Sheridan, it is up to the audience to declare who really did create 'The First Irish Coffee'.

With the two actors playing over 60 characters between them, the best way to sum up the range of accents is to ask you to remember really, really great days out; the Galway races might be an appropriate example.

When you meet characters at these events and you think you’ll remember the sayings they come out with? One that stayed with me from this night: “Whiskey doesn’t make you fat. It makes you lean. Lean against cars and walls.”

In this post-pandemic world, I am mindful of supporting those who are brave enough to step on to a stage and entertain us.

I look forward to sharing these stories with you as I begin my journey with Irish Country Living and I ask you to bear with me as I emerge from my rural cocoon on to the entertainment scene.

'The First Irish Coffee' at the Laughter Lounge, Eden Quay, Dublin 1, concludes with a matinee on Saturday 26 November.

Given the laughs of the audience when I visited, surely there is potential to do a tour down to the real of home of Irish coffee… Foynes.

For further information see here.

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