One ale of a trib­ute to land­lord Kevin

Stockport Times West - - THE LAUGHING BADGER - SEAN WOOD sean.wood @talk21.com

SO sur­prise num­ber two in Ire­land, gave me great plea­sure, and my un­ex­pected ar­rival in Kin­vara, bear­ing gifts, was up there with my most mem­o­rable mo­ments.

Reg­u­lar read­ers might guess that the story in­volves drink, but this was very spe­cial drink, a beer brewed in hon­our of a mighty man called Kevin Sex­ton who passed away two years ago.

Kevin was the land­lord of Sex­ton’s Bar in the vil­lage, a venue my band has played umpteen times in the last 15 years.

My good friends Ste­wart and Emma Swan, the new own­ers of Glos­sop’s Howard Town Brew­ery, worked their magic on the brew, called Sex­ton’s Pride, and bot­tled up four cases for me to ship across the Ir­ish Sea.

Gal­way artist Louise Boyce al­lowed us to use Kevin’s por­trait on the bot­tles, and it’s a great paint­ing, seen over Ruth’s shoul­der in the pic­ture here.

Kevin was a true gen­tle­man in ev­ery sense of the word, and never bat­ted an eye­lid when we some­times turned up with seven in the band and 40 lads from Glos­sop Rugby Club – he just smiled and kept the Guin­ness flow­ing for the whole week­end.

Kevin’s daugh­ter Ruth now runs the pub, and her face was a pic­ture when we plonked the cases of beer on the bar.

She was still none the wiser, but when she pulled out one of the bot­tles and saw her dad’s face – price­less.

The spe­cial bot­tles are now leg­endary in the area, and any of Kevin’s friends who were lucky enough to be given a bot­tle have vowed to toast his health on Christ­mas Day.

Good friend of mine, 86-year-old Willy Ka­vanagh, was the first to be handed a bot­tle.

He was de­lighted and quickly slot­ted the beer in his pocket, placed his flat cap on his head to leave, and said: “I have a pic­ture of Kevin above on the man­tle, I’ll empty this and it can sit be­side him.”

As you may imag­ine, I didn’t make it out of Sex­ton’s un­til late that night, or was it early morn­ing, so the wildlife can wait un­til next week, in the mean­time let me guide you in the di­rec­tion of this lit­tle heaven on Gal­way Bay.

Fly Ryanair Manch­ester to Shan­non from £29, it’s less than an hour and you start the de­scent into County Clare almost as soon as you get to 30,000 feet.

Car hire at the air­port is from around 12 Euros a

Sean Wood with Ruth Sex­ton, land­lady of Sex­ton’s Bar in the vil­lage of Kin­vara, South County Gal­way, hold­ing a bot­tle of Sex­ton’s Pride pro­duced in hon­our of her late fa­ther Kevin

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