There’s always a warm welcome in O’Sullivan’s Bar, Crookhaven.
With plans to carry out some upgrading work on the pub’s gable end, however, the family business has asked its customers if it might be time to replace the famous mural featuring a topless mermaid that welcomes visitors into the centre of Crookhaven village.
The three-storey painting, created by West Cork artist Corina Thorn, features the pub’s promise of “the most southerly pint in Ireland” alongside a beautiful depiction of the Fastnet lighthouse with a red-haired mermaid perched on the rocks nearby, an addition that has become a bone of contention lately.
With an opportunity to make a change in the near future, the bar posed the question to their fans on Facebook:
“Well folks, it is within a great family dispute that I go the public and ask, would anyone really be sad to see the end of the mural with the topless mermaid?? We have to get the gable end re-rendered and it is a heated debate within eh!… the Family, a.k.a. Dermot O’Sullivan, with its loss!”
“Some village dwellers have taken me aside and confessed it’s no loss, and the men, maybe feeling less so. But I ask you, can we really rear a 21st-century lady… Angela O’Sullivan, two and a bit years celebrating a playboy mermaid on her home? We welcome your feedback!”
Regular visitors to O’Sullivans from around the globe have been sharing their thoughts in the comments:
Hepzaba Veenstra from Boston is on the fence, she posted: “Our family’s favourite place in West Cork for an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich, seafood chowder and SO much more! Paint what you want outside but don’t change what you’re doing inside Dermot!”
Ann Marie De Die hopes the mural survives the re-rendering: “I’m fond of the mermaid (and I’m a card-carrying feminist!). Keep her. P.S. See you next week. Will be visiting from San Francisco.”
Rory O’Shea agrees: “It’s iconic and a beloved landmark! Try to maintain it visually as is, please!!”
Meanwhile, Lucy Reid is all for equality, suggesting: “Ye could add a playboy merman…”
Whatever they decide, it’s a timely reminder that a spring spin to Crookhaven is in order… what better excuse to pop in for a pint and an open crab sandwich?