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23rd Mar 2018

Toners Is Now Called Tobin’s Apparently – What’s Going On?

James Fenton

It’s Friday afternoon so it won’t be long before the phones are hopping with invitations for after-work pints. You know the usual…

‘Gonna head for one in O’Donoghues, if you’re up for it.’

‘Will we head into McDaids for a couple?’

‘Finished at five, might swing into Ton… wait, what?’

Yep, it looks like Baggot Street’s iconic Toners has changed its name to Tobin’s overnight in a move that’s sure to make passers-by take a second glance this evening. 

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Fear not, however, as the change is a temporary move to honour the winners of the 47th annual Hennessy Literary Awards which took place earlier this week. You see, Toners was a favourite haunt of Irish literary greats of the past with Bram Stoker a frequent visitor and even a notoriously pub-shy WB Yeats once stopping in for a sherry. 

Up the road, The Waterloo was loved by Brendan Behan and Seamus Heaney while Reillys on Merrion Row was enjoyed by Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien. All three pubs have changed their names for 48 hours this weekend in honour of the winners at this week’s awards. 

The Waterloo has changed to Finnegan’s in tribute to Aaron Finnegan who won the First Fiction category…

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Reillys is Cole’s to honour Louise G. Cole who won for Emerging Poetry…

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While Toners is Tobin’s to recognise Manus Boyle Tobin who won for Emerging Fiction…

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Is there any greater honour in Dublin then having a pub named after you for a weekend? We would argue ‘no’. Fair play to all involved. If you’re stuck for something to do, you could do worse than embarking on a pub crawl of all three haunts this evening. 

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