Much loved Donegal publican Nan Brennan is laid to rest

Nan, 80, passed away at the weekend

Michael Daly


Michael Daly


Much loved Donegal publican Nan Brennan is laid to rest

The funeral of Nan Brennan as her remains pass the pub where so many came to know Nan and her sister Patricia. Photo Matt Britton.

Bundoran came to a standstill from noon today as the town came out en masse to pay their last respects to local publican Nan Brennan.

Nan, 80,  who passed away at the weekend, along with her sister Patricia, ran the Criterion Bar, better known simply as "Brennan's" on the town's Main Street.

Hundreds of people attended her wake and removal; the wake was held in the bar and the removal on Monday evening saw massive numbers of people line the streets of the seaside resort as her remains were brought to her local church.

At her 12 noon funeral at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, large numbers of people paid their respects to a woman loved by so many. Scanning the vast numbers in attendance her impact on people of all ages was evident, from surfers to farmers, all sections of the community joined to bid her a fond farewell.

The Criterion Bar, which made a point of not having a television, was a haven away from the travails of the busy world and for many it was a last refuge from a society where many feel they must be instantly available - 24/7. If you wanted to watch a match or a race, Nan or Patricia would advise you to go somewhere else and watch it and come back when it was over, have a drink and talk about it. Ironically, the sisters recently featured in a television advert for Hop House 13 beer.

A final salute as pallbearers point Nan's coffin towards the pub where she and her sister Patricia have served so many locals and visitors to Bundoran through the decades. Photo Matt Britton.

The pub, which first opened on St Patrick’s Day in 1900, had no truck with music, swearing and more recently its lack of WiFi was regarded by many as a badge of honour and another reason to go there for a drink and a chat. With the Brennan sisters the pace was always that bit slower and you were encouraged to leave the big bad world outside the door. 

Today, many remarked on that way of living as they came to honour a life well lived and a lady who will never be forgotten by the thousands who met her at Brennan's Criterion Bar in Bundoran. 

Following today's Requiem Mass, Nan was interred at the nearby Finner Cemetery this afternoon.

May she rest in peace.