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Irish pubs' hours

The publican / undertaker in smalltown Ireland

A friend of mine in Kilkenny told me that the combination of pub and funeral parlor is fairly common in smalltown Ireland.

I was amused, the first time I saw the phenomenon.

It's normal, he said, that businesses will house together with a funeral parlor, under the ownership of one man. There may be a shop, or a pub, and an undertaker — adjacent and under the same ownership. In Thomastown, County Kilkenny, there is a man doing business as an undertaker and upholsterer. In Carlow, just eastward, is a fine example of the classic pub and funeral parlor under one roof — embellished in the same style, with two separate front entrances.

A small-town undertaker would hope to be working as little as possible in that capacity, so an adjunctive business would be logical.

A pub, indeed, is the most natural combination. An Irish wake involves a bit of drink. From an Irish perspective, the two services make sense together.