Thursday, September 15, 2005

Buddy's Lane

Once upon a time, a different life time it seems, on my weekend’s home from college in Galway, I used to frequent a tiny bar in Limerick, called Buddy's. It was at the end of a narrow lane, off Fox's Bow, itself a laneway, connecting Thomas Street to William Street. Although the lane has a different name, everyone referred to it as Buddy’s Lane. A cat swung in the bar, would be.....dead. It was that small. Most people actually hung out around the tables and beer barrels stationed outside. The clientele were a motley crew of students, hippies, musicians, (I qualified on all three counts), artists, and most prominently, The Limerick Road Tramps biker club. All patrons had as common ground, a love of the demon weed. Or in those days, hash. You could smell it as soon as you got near the alley. A tiny red haired bloke by the name of Rusty was a reliable supplier. I'm sad to say that the last I heard he was killed in a motorcycle crash several years back.
The bikers Harley's lined the alley on a Saturday night, and at closing time, the noise of the bikes being started reverberated off the tall alley walls and made me feel like I had my head inside the engine of an F-15. They were a fearsome bunch, and this kept the local rabble away from the bar.
The owner was a bloke named Frank, whose daughter had been a schoolmate of mine back in secondary school. Anyone who hung out in Buddy's understands the meaning of, (this needs a Limerick accent),” udder side Frank!” There was a stack of tapes behind the bar, and when a side ended, inevitably someone would yell this in the direction of the bar.
One great advantage of the alley was, that if the local coppers decided that some miscreant dope smokers were due a bust, by the time they got down the alley, any illegal substances would be lying on the ground, rendering arrest for possession impossible.

The photograph is a mural at the end of the lane, taken while home for my sisters wedding last Christmas. The bar is long since closed, the bikers built a clubhouse outside the city, but many of the clientele that I still am in contact with, reminisce fondly about those days.


Blogger Alive in Limerick said...

I was afraid of that place! In the mid-nineties, when the bikers moved on I remember being in their a few times for some student gigs. Small but cosy.
The old McDaids (before Crusies Street was built) was a lovely little pub too.

3:00 AM  
Blogger John Mc said...

Was McDaids the white one with the thatched roof ? Near Nancy Blakes ? I used to play there with Fat Gypsy Lady when I was in town from college, great place.

I think the good thing about Buddy's was the fact that most people were afraid of it. I only went their because my college girlfriend was a regular. Then I realised how mellow it was. And they had great music. The bikers were not to be messed with. I wandered up there one summers evening, and noticed that the alley was suspiciously bike free. Then all the bikers piled out of the bar loaded with claw hammers and baseball bats. Some knackers had made the very big mistake of beating the crap out of one of the Road Tramps, and they wre heading out for a spot of revenge. Not sure what ultimately happened.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Buddy's...that's a blast from the past. I went there while I was in college but not too often. The bikers usually tolerated one or two students, but if a bunch turned up, the reception tended to be rather cool...

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was 16 in 1979 when i frequented buddys bar got on well with eddie the owner and his son eddie jnr
I was responsible for painting a mural on the wall inside the bar.
and putting coloured cellophane on the tiny window skylight,
strange days drug enduced of course
i wonder what ever happened to everyone i remember the bikers of those days
good cool fun
smell of patchouli
and joe malones wasnt any different
great times great places great people
would love to go back to them times.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to frequent Buddies regularly back in '87. I was going out with a Galway girl who was a student in Limerick. I was working in Kilkenny and used to go to Limerick most weekends. The Bikers were a tough bunch, even the babies wore leather!! But they were cool, I never got any hassle, even though I was a parka wearing mod riding a mirrored Vespa PX200e. However it was important to park the right side of the entrance & not block their harleys. The motto above the bar "hatch" said..

"Everyone's Buddies at Buddies"

Great place, great people , sad to hear it's closed now.

9:07 AM  
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4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im so happy i found this little pagoe of memories by accident!:)i used to go to buddies when i was 16 17 18 but have only been back once in the last 10 years,its a clothes shop now isnt it??a cool shop as well.i remember rusty and am very sad to hear that he has passed on:( he was a real laugh.when i used to go there in early 90s,i thought some guy called mannion had it?anyway had many a great night there with the newquay ale.mmmmm :)

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think this bar was originally called the long hall which the entrance was on william street next to the hong kong chinese that would have beenaround the early 70,s when joe malones and o malleys on denmark street were going strong not forgetting the bailey of course(my favourite), sat night sessions and then run for the last bus 11. 30 upto the old cresent disco in listen to dj mick the rave now mickey mac of rte fame.... great memories and brilliant friends... cheers JOHNNY C.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was called Mc Days not Mc Daids... (The one near Nancy's) The McKnights guys had it for the last year before it was demolished... McKnights/McDays... Contrary to popular belief it never had a thatched roof... It was called Dennis Cleary's when I drank there. I do remember Ciaran Laffey Rip. Stephen Imbush And co. playin in the corner there... Sympathy for the Devil, Before the Deluge .... You must have been exiled to Galway at the time.

8:33 PM  

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