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We all know the Irish are great story tellers – as we say here “never let the truth get in the way of a good story!”

In the lead up to the holiday season we hope many of your pubs are full of patrons looking to relax and catch up! We also hope that many of you get time to sit around and share stories and news with your families and friends! If you are in cold cold Ireland, we hope that that’s sitting around a blazing fire!

Here we take a look at the role of the ‘seanachaí’ in Irish history and how the Seanachaí influenced Irish Pub Design!


In Ireland, a seanachaí is a story teller. Ireland’s Celtic culture has been passed down from generation to generation through stories, prose and song with nothing written down. One may say that Seanachaí’s have ‘the gift of the gab’ and have a passion for the art of storytelling; that they are indeed historians.

The Irish people have a great appreciation for the ‘spoken word’ and Ireland has one of the richest folklore traditions in the world and Irish people know the importance of storytelling in Ireland and in an Irish Pub. Seanachaí’s hold an important link to this Irish or Celtic Cultural heritage. Some Seanachaí’s, travelled from town to town to tell stories.

They created a tradition of storytelling which continues to this day in Ireland.

In our research we were influenced by seanachaí’s and their stories. The Irish Pub Company in partnership with Guinness Brewing Worldwide (now Diageo) carried out research all over Ireland to create the Irish Pub Concept, a phenomenon that the Irish Pub Company brought to the world.
For each pub we design and build, we create a concept so that the pub has authenticity at its core and so that we create a truly authentic experience for customers. Our designs ensure plenty of opportunities for a catch up and a good story to be told!

  • The seanachaí fire-side gathering area is a design element in many of our pubs. This is an area for relaxation and social interactions. 


  • The Snug is another area in many Authentic Irish Pubs that allows for an intimate space for groups to share tales and stories. The Snug however had another function in times past! It was often the chosen seating area in a pub for people who preferred not to be seen! These included the parish priest, women, local Gardaí (the Irish police) and young lovers! Snugs are extremely authentic to Ireland’s pubs, and often the most popular seat in the house!


  • The Bar – in Irish Pub tradition, the barman was always someone who would engage in conversation with those as the bar. Some might say that the barman himself is the new Seanachaí!

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