Heineken launches virtual pub museums to celebrate historic Irish pubs

This campaign aims to safeguard historical Irish pubs by advocating for their transformation into museums

Pictured: Paul Corcoran of Toners Pub pictured at the launch of the Virtual Pub Museums. (Photo by Andres Poveda)

Heineken Ireland wants to shine a light on Irish pubs and their importance by opening virtual Pub Museums across Ireland. 

This campaign from Heineken aims to safeguard historical Irish pubs, advocating for their transformation into museums. Heineken has partnered with three distinguished Irish pubs to pioneer the virtual Pub Museum experience. Patrons can now embark on a digital journey through time, exploring the rich history and stories told within these beloved establishments. By scanning a QR code on historical artefacts within the pubs, visitors can unlock historical facts and stories. 

Beginning with Toners Pub in Dublin on 5 April, followed by the oldest pub in the world;  Sean’s Bar in Athlone on 12 April and Mother Macs in Limerick on 19 April. 

Heineken is exploring how these pubs can apply for official Museum accreditation via The Heritage Council in a bid to have them formally recognised as museums. This would offer more opportunities and resources for Irish pubs. By supporting pubs in a bid to become an official museum, Heineken aims to preserve pub culture and the future of socialising. The Pub Museum campaign complements the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland bid for UNESCO to formally recognise traditional pubs as key elements of Ireland’s intangible cultural heritage, highlighting the pub’s role in social interaction, music, storytelling and as custodians of local traditions and history.

Rachael Crawley, senior brand manager, Heineken Ireland, said: “Pubs in Ireland play a pivotal role in Irish society and culture, and have done for generations. As a partner of pubs across the country, we’ve launched the Pub Museums initiative as a way to highlight the historical importance of Irish pubs, and act as a reminder of the importance of these establishments in the fabric of Irish society.”

Timmy Donovan, manager, Sean’s Bar, said: “As the world’s oldest bar, our commitment to keeping the spirit of the Irish pub alive is unwavering. We’re hugely proud of what we have preserved here. We’re looking forward to welcoming our customers in to have a go of this digital museum and learn even more about Sean’s Bar and all of the stories here.”

Mike McMahon, owner and operator, Mother Macs, said: “It has never been more important to get behind Irish pubs. At Mother Macs our dedication to upholding the spirit of the Irish pub is extremely important to me and the team here. We invite our patrons to immerse themselves in the rich history of Mother Macs through the digital museum and discover the remarkable tales that have shaped our beloved pub.”

Paul Corcoran, manager, Toners, said: “As publicans, we understand the profound role Irish pubs play in society and socialising in Ireland and internationally. These are hubs of community, storytelling, and camaraderie. We remain steadfast in preserving our establishments, for they are not just places to drink, but sanctuaries where traditions are upheld, friendships are forged, and memories are made.”

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