NYC cabby is welcomed with banner to settle 9-year pint debt

By Katy Thornton

September 30, 2022 at 12:55pm


I mean, it's only fare.


Before anyone comes for me for my spelling, it's just a wee bit of wordplay.

We have been closely following this story since we were first made aware of it. John McDonagh, a NYC-based cab driver, has flown to Dublin to settle a nine year pint debt. What is a pint debt, you ask? Basically nine years ago, McDonagh was driving an Irish pub owner nine years ago, who found that he was short on the taxi fare.


The pub owner, who owns Gaffney & Son in Fairview, wrote up an IOU for McDonagh, promising him pints to make up for not having enough to pay for the journey. According to McDonagh, who has documented this all on his Instagram,

"We discussed the value of the euro vs. the value of the dollar, the cost of the drinks, and settled on two pints of Guinness as being sufficient to make up for the difference in the fare."

Now, nine years after the fact, McDonagh has made the journey to Ireland to settle the pint debt. He arrived in Dublin on Tuesday 27th September, and made his way to Gaffney & Sons on Thursday 30th. Expecting his arrival, the Fairview pub had a welcome banner ready and waiting.

McDonagh got in touch with Lovin to tell us about his trip to Dublin so far, describing it as "surreal". He went to the Guinness Storehouse where he was given a swag bag with customised goodies.


Honestly, we just can't get enough of this story.

McDonagh has been busy, opening his play "Off the Meter, on the Record" in Donegal and interviewing with Joe Duffy at RTÉ as well.

Header image via John McDonagh 

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