Val & Maurice back in 'Ogs' their 'spiritual home' Sean Ogs, Ballysh
Two Ballyshannon men who began their careers at an early age behind the bar in one of the best known pubs in the county return this weekend to what they describe as their "spiritual home".
Well-known personalities Maurice McLaughlin and Val Murray were serving pints, collecting and washing glasses, sweeping floors and doing whatever had to be done in the landmark Ballyshannon pub, "Sean Og's" on the town's Main Street and this weekend will return to take over the operation.
"Og's" as it is commonly know is usually spoken of fondly when people speak of Ballyshannon and reflect on it's links with the Folk Festival and more recently the Rory Gallagher festival and many other enjoyable occasions. It simply is just one of those places that evokes great memories.
Throughout the years Sean Og's has been synonymous with great music and hospitality and both Maurice and Val intend to carry on and even add to this great tradition.
Maurice said, "Years ago the pub was renowned all over the county for its great Folk Club with some of the top musicians in the country dropping in and singing a few numbers - we are delighted to announce that this will be starting uo again in the not too distant future."
The venue will not confine itself to folk music but also offer a wide range of contemporary, traditional and rock music as it hope to cater for all tastes.
Val added that it will also provide the ideal venue for parties whatever their nature.
"We can either provide the food or people are welcome to bring their own - it leaves the customers with the best of both options and caters for people of all budgets." said Val
One could not help but notice the large number of plasma screens in this large premises - they are all strategically placed so that wherever a customer is sitting they will have a sideline view of all the matches and a wealth of sports live as they happen.
Maurice said, "We are going to have some craic during the Premiership - Val is well known throughout the town for his affiliation to Liverpool while I follow a slightly different shade of red - Manchester United.
"With their win this week and that 5 point cushion, I think things will be going my way this season."
There is a big sports connection in Sean Ogs as the lads sponsor Ballyshannon Rugby Club, actively support the new Ladies Rugby team and also sponsor Erne Wanderers FC. Val is also manager of the Aodh Ruadh senior football team.
Commenting on their intentions for the future of the pub Maurice McLaughlin said, "It really is great to come back to this pub and I would like to thank the O'Donnell, McEnaney and Muldoon families for affording us this opportunity.
"Our emphasis will be very much on personal service and good value.
"My feeling that in the current challenging times that we are currently facing pubs will have to be seen going that extra mile, giving that little bit extra.
"We intend giving the customer what he wants and indeed even exceeding their expectations. Any publican who thinks that his customers are going to walk in his door today just because he sells alcohol is fooling himself - the competition is simply just too intense.
"With a combination of music, live sports, special promotional nights and a truly great staff we feel that we can keep our customers satisfied."
Val Murray added. "It will also be very much a family run pub with Maurice's two kids, Bianca and Stephen and my own two, Niall and Aidan behind the bar along with ourselves.
"As everybody knows, I am a member of the Town Council but I will be putting a curfew on political discussion - Maurice is well known for his Fianna Fail connections and of course, I am a Fine Gael councillor so I would expect that there will be quite a bit of friendly banter over the next few weeks during the General Election.
"We have a truly great team put together and we are now really looking forward to establishing Sean Og's as one of the best pubs in the North West.
"We are both looking forward to seeing everybody this weekend for our official launch."