When we decided to call this podcast series The Lock-In, we borrowed the idea from a tweet by David McWilliams. While a ‘lockdown’ sounds oppressive and unpleasant, a lock-in is a treat, a forbidden pleasure.
Let’s call it a “Lock-in” not a “Lock-down””. Lockdown sounds so brutally American with macho SWAT teams shouting at people, but a Lock-in is much more Irish. It’s gentle, homely, evoking craic, chats, slow pints, & small ones. Crucially, it’s all a bit bold too! #CoronaLockin
— David McWilliams (@davidmcw) March 28, 2020
So when I read that three remote-working creative professionals had moved into a disused, though charming, pub in County Clare, just in time for Lockdown 2, I had to know more. Áine Leech is our guest on today’s show. She and her partner Kymann Power, and their friend Diarmuid Keane, moved from Dublin to take over Daly’s Pub in Main Street, Ennistymon.
Click on the player below to play the podcast audio (download: 14:48; 20MB; MP3), or scroll down to watch the video.
One of the most extraordinary changes brought about by the pandemic has been the revelation that offices are unnecessary. While shopfloors, hair salons and retail showrooms require an onsite experience, many of us who work in an office are often simply sending emails across the room. This realisation has led to some people choosing to relocate to sunny shores, where they put in a day’s work for an Irish company, then clock-out and head to the beach in Spain, France or Cyprus.
But for Áine and her friends, it had to be Ireland.
“I feel like, basically, the pandemic brought out Irish travel in a lot of people – it was like that ‘staycation’ kind of thing. What I remember thinking was: have people not being doing this anyway? Like, all my childhood holidays and that, would have been at home in Ireland, whether it was Cork, or the West, whatever. And I just think Clare has something so special about it, like, everything around us; we’re a few minutes from the Cliffs of Moher; we’re a few minutes from Lahinch; it’s an artistic town. We all fell in love with swimming this summer; it was kind of like our ‘meditiation’ during the pandemic so, where we were in Dublin, it was like nearly a 45 minute drive and hoping you’re not stuck in traffic, you know? Whereas, like, we could run to Lahinch now if we wanted, for a swim.”
An added bonus is the hope that, when Level 5 restrictions are eased, they’ll find it easier to stay in touch with family and friends here in Ireland.
“Of course we could have packed our bags and gone abroad, but I think we’re all a bit of homebirds as well, at the same time, and kind of hoping that, if restrictions lift, you can run home back to Mammy for a night.”
Áine and her pod of pub-dwellers are each gainfully employed in digital media and communications but they have plans to contribute to their adoptive community as well.
“The big plan is to have the pub as some form of creative space, whether that’s virtually, or ticketed event, or whatever it is, we’ll find a way to do it.”
To find out how they get on in their adventure, follow @dalys.ennistymon on Instagram.