Rival publicans bidding to put one over the bar

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Conor Moroney, The Gate bar and Mick Portley, Portley's bar getting ready for the clash between Limerick and Clare in the all Ireland hurling semi final. Picture: Adrian Butler
MICK Portley and Conor Moroney have both vowed this week that they won’t be taking any holidays until after the Liam McCarthy Cup is won.

MICK Portley and Conor Moroney have both vowed this week that they won’t be taking any holidays until after the Liam McCarthy Cup is won.

But one or other of the city publicans may have to revise their plans after Sunday when either the Treaty County or the Banner men exit the All-Ireland championship.

Mick is the proprietor of Portley’s on Broad Street while Conor runs The Gate next door and both will travel to Croke Park this Sunday in anticipation of a win.

A native of Ballyneety, Mick represented South Liberties in his younger days and also played for and trained Old Christians teams.

“I feel Limerick have just that little bit more experience than Clare. It will be very tight and it’s very hard to call it. It’s going to be a helter-skelter match but I just feel that Limerick have something about them this year. John Allen is a clever manager with his eye on it and I think we can go all the way,” said Mick.

“There’s great banter here at the two pubs and all the talk is about hurling. We have Clare neighbours next door and naturally enough they are expecting to topple us. But we’re looking forward to it and looking forward to a second day out after this one as well.”

Conor Moroney hurled for his native Broadford while his brother PJ played for the Clare seniors in the 1980s.

“There’s a great atmosphere around the place and a good bit of ball-hopping going on. I have the bar staff coming in in Limerick jerseys and customers coming in putting up a few Limerick flags with the underhanded help of the staff. I’ve been getting a lot of presents of green jerseys left in for me and promises of a few trips away after our impending defeat at the weekend,” said Conor.

Not having missed a Clare game since the 1990s, Conor is expecting more than one day out at Croke Park in the coming weeks.

“I’ll be booking no holidays until October after the seniors and the U-21s have done the business,” he pledged.

“I might have said a couple of weeks back that Limerick have the physicality, the big men and the momentum and that maybe next year could be ours but we are there now and we’ll have a great chance. My confidence jumped after watching the U-21 match and seeing the system Clare use working so well,” said Conor.