By Alexa Bourne
In 2007, I took my first trip to Ireland. I spent a few days in Dublin with some friends and then we took a tour for a few more days through the southern part of the country. Yes, we hit all the required tourist spots- Blarney Castle, Killarney, Cliffs of Moher, etc.- but we also hit a few places that surprised and delighted me. One of those places was the King's Head Pub in Galway. Now I know some of you who know me well are thinking, "Oh, here she goes talking about a pub" (Because yes, I do like a pint or two now and then) but I promise this is worth it.
To stand outside the King's Head Pub in Galway, Ireland, a tourist wouldn't think it any different than any of the other pubs in the Emerald Isle. But the King's Head Pub has an interesting story behind it. The property was payment for a murder.
It is believed that the site for the pub, right in the heart of Galway City, was given as payment in January 1649 to the man who executed King Charles I of England. The executioner was masked, so his true identity was never known.
Today, the pub offers lunch and dinner. Plus, most evenings there is live music. It is a popular tourist destination and can get very crowded in the summer months. It has a stone floor and a grand fireplace and windows on the first floor that date back to Medieval times. The building contains three floors with bars and stages on each one. The main stage is visible by the first two floors, while the third floor offers a more intimate setting for private parties and entertainment, such as occasional theatre productions and stand-up comedians.
Walking through the main door, I couldn't help but get caught up in the friendly atmosphere. The locals are willing to share a word or two about the local legends over excellent food and a pint. But I have to tell you as I sat with my friends sipping my pint, for a few moments I could almost feel the presence of the souls from long ago. My skin literally tingled as I glanced at the front door and imagined a young man walking through the door, greeting his friends and wandering up to the bar. It was the only part of my trip where I had that feeling and it was so amazing I almost wished I didn't have to leave.
To find out more about the history of this cozy little pub, you can go to their website, http://www.thekingshead.ie/.