LAWRENCE — In the Merrimack Valley, the Claddagh Pub and Restaurant symbolizes the history of the Irish men and women who helped build the city. After the pub was put up for sale, there was fear that some of that history would be lost.
But, Brian Farrell, who opened the pub in 1992 along with Coley Ryan and Paul Morton, made a leap of faith and bought out his business partners.
”I’m very excited about it. The Claddagh has so much to offer and it’s here to stay,” Farrell said.
With St. Patrick’s Day being celebrated today, the kitchen will be busy serving corned beef and cabbage while glasses of Guiness will be rolling off the bar. The Claddagh at the corner of Amesbury and Canal streets was the place to be standing on Saturday as the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade marched past for the first time in three years.
No one is happier to have the Claddagh stay open than members of the Division 8, Ancient Order of Hibernians, where the Irish organization holds its meetings.
“It’s important to keep that tradition alive. The Irish have contributed so much to the city, building the dam and staying here to become teachers, lawyers, bankers and leaders in the city and in Washington,” said president Bill Sullivan.
The Hibernians host lectures, Irish language classes and other events on the second floor of the building.
Anne Marie Nyhan Doherty, president of the Ladies Hibernians is also happy Farrell is keeping the Claddagh open.
”He did a favor to the Irish, the Hibernians and the city of Lawrence,” Doherty said. “He has kept part of our heritage and history alive in the city.”
The Rev. Bill Waters, chaplain to the Hibernians, which was established 143 years ago, said he gives Farrell a lot of credit.