Ireland’s Bar, 61 Clyde Place, Glasgow.
Crowds of mariners of all nations, old and young, keep continually pouring into Kingston Dock, and time and again these foregather at Mr James Ireland’s Bar, 61 Clyde Place. Opposite York Street Ferry, where their tales of eventful voyages and narrow escapes at sea are rehearsed. Here they are served with refreshments and snacks and were always welcomed. The sailors enjoyed Ireland’s Bar, this may be not only for the good service they got but the quality of liquor sold at Ireland’s. All the best wines, spirits and ales were sold here.
Mr Ireland himself was a tall man, agile and was under thirty years of age when he occupied the premises in 1891. He knew as much about Trade matters as any exciseman under the Inland Revenue Department. In his spare time he had compiled a list of tables and rules, with examples, for cask gauging and a new method of finding ullage contents of the same lying, as well as with rules to find the quantity of contents in casks of whatever shape, with demonstrated diagrams. This work by James Ireland was supplemented by a complete table (which must have cost him years of careful calculation and labour) for the reducing of spirits, counting from proof up to 40% o.p. and down as low as 25 u.p. This work when published, will be of incalculable value to the trade.
James was born in the braes of Glen Lyon, and brought up at a large farm there, where he acquired a masterly acquaintance with horses and Ayrshire cattle, thought that other professions paid better than that of a farmer, so when a very young man he came south and entered the spirit trade with Mrs Anderson, Cathcart Street, in the south side of Glasgow. Mrs Lillias Anderson acquired the business on her husbands death, Cathcart Street became Cathcart Road, the pub still stands today and is known as the Brazen Head.
A superior intelligence stood him in good stead and he mastered his trade in a very short space of time, latterly beginning business on his own account at 61 Clyde Place, which was near the Clyde Shipping Co’s and the Bristol and Cardiff steamers moor at the harbour, weary passengers from both these lines found rest and refreshments at Ireland’s Bar.
A busy trade was carried on by the hundreds of quay-men around, who were always a good judge of what good liquor was. James Ireland continued to serve the customers with good liquor for years, he acquired another public house in 1902, at 183 Garscube Road, this pub sat at the corner of Crossburn Street and became W T Doherty’s pub. He disposed of this pub six years later, when William Doherty took over, however he continued with his first business at 61 Clyde Street.
James Ireland struggled through the First World War and gave up the trade after these depressive times. During the 1930s until the 1960s Alexander McKenzie owned the pub, then the bulldozers came in and flattened the old business and surrounding tenements.