If the Irish didn’t invent the pub, they’ve certainly espoused its cause with great vigour. Indeed, alongside the local church and the betting shop (for men), the pub retains a pivotal place in Irish society. It’s the place where stories are narrated, deals and pacts are made, jokes are told and, sometimes, traditional music is heard. During the 1990s, the “Irish pub” concept (albeit with “authentic” period decor manufactured in Dublin) spread to far-flung points of the globe. Yet experiencing the real thing on its home turf is still an unbeatable experience.