IT IS known as a student watering hole, but graduates of the University of Limerick have such an affinity with a bar on campus that they’re now holding their weddings there.
General manager Declan Collins said they have recently hosted two wedding receptions in the popular bar, which has just celebrated its 25th birthday on campus.
One of the couples also wed in the nearby Contemplative Centre on campus, which is used for various religious services.
The founding president of the University of Limerick, Dr Edward Walsh, was among those who celebrated the pub’s birthday in Plassey recently, having officially opened it on March 6, 1987.
Unlike other pubs struggling to survive, its success has seen it become known for its philanthropic attitude towards the local community. It has raised over €400,000 for clubs and societies on campus, with a further €1.2m raised for local charities, including the Redemptorists annual Christmas food appeal, and Milford Care Centre, amongst others.
Last year’s Christmas charity event alone - known as ‘Christmas Daze’ - raised €19,500 over three days alone, and the Stables collects on average €30,000 a year for charity. Mr Collins said the success of the bar is due to the “wonderful team of staff”, and their “old school approach” to customer service since the very beginning. It has employed some 700 full-time and part-time staff over the past half a century, with five senior members of staff working there since it was established. The Stables is one of three bars on campus, but is recognised as having the greatest longevity. It’s estimated that since then it has served some 10 million pints and served enough curry sauce to fill the Olympic sized swimming pool in the UL Arena several times over.
“There’s five of us here since day one, and we’ve kind of grown with the campus. When we started the campus was very small. Then you had all these buildings and all these people and you needed somewhere for everyone to socialise,” said Mr Collins, who was formerly a barman there for 13 years.