Michael Canty’s Pub – Midleton
The history of Canty’s begins with the current owner, Catherine’s dad, Michael Canty. Mike, as he was known, came from West Cork in 1952 to buy a farm - but he bought the pub instead. His background was in farming and cattle dealing and he bought the pub on impulse during one of his frequent visits to Midleton’s fair day. At that time it had been last refurbished by the former owners, the O’Gormans, in 1897. It remains very much unchanged today. During the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s it operated as a grocery shop and bar with a snug for the ladies.
Thankfully it was not affected by the 1970’s lounge bar phenomena. It remained a working man's and farmers’ pub. Mike was a reliable source of information on cattle prices as well as matters of local and West Cork interest. He maintained an interest in cattle dealing up to the early eighties. The customer base was made up of farmers, the local work force of the Whiskey Distillery in Midleton and Tatton’s coal merchants, as well as the local community.
Mike died in 1990 and his daughter Catherine took over running the pub. The Midleton Distillery is only about 10 minutes’ walk from Canty’s, so distillery workers have always been regular customers - characters such as Salty, Tights, Deckie, Johnny, and others, all with nick names. They have a nickname for Canty’s too - “ the Fifth Effect” - called after a part of the drying process in manufacturing animal feed from the distilling by-product. At the end of a shift the lads would talk about going to the Fifth Effect, or on a Monday morning the Fifth Effect might be blamed for the weekend excess.
The current staff are Susan, Colleen, Orna, Jeff and Catherine’s daughter Miriam, as well as Catherine. The pub has plently of wonderful old memorabilia from the old distillery and it is one of those Irish pubs with beautiful wooden panelling throughout. They stock every brand of whiskey distilled today in Midleton. A few years ago Catherine found some cases of whiskey dating back to her father’s time - Redbreast from the 1970’s and the old Midleton Reserve from the 1960’s – when you call in, if she’s there, ask Catherine what she did with those historical old whiskeys – then have a good cry into your glass of Jameson.
There’s been a pub at Canty’s more or less as long as there has been a whiskey distillery in Midleton. Generations of distillery workers and generations of Midleton whiskeys have been at home in Canty’s. We still can’t think of a nicer place to end your day in Midleton, especially after a visit to the Jameson Experience in Midleton.
Michael Canty’s Pub – Connolly Street, Midleton, Co. Cork
Tel. + 353 (0)21 4633224