Category Archives: History

Nuggets of gold chivvied out of Mulligan’s rich past

World’s most rejected author welcomed to Mulligan’s

0141000597On its way to publication, Dick Wimmer’s first novel, ‘Irish Wine’ received a grand total of 162 rejection slips.

After honing it down to 128 pages from its original 700, the Los Angeles-based creative writing teacher eventually found a publisher, Mercury House, for his magnum opus.

Believing that even failure , if it’s spectacular enough has inherent publicity, Mercury have been unashamed about touting the fact that they have ‘history’s most rejected published novelist’ on their books.

Image (adapted) of Dick Wimmer enjoying a drink in Mulligan’s front bar. Photo by Tom Hanahoe

For the average American author, even getting their work reviewed by the New York Times book pages would be achievement enough. In Wimmer’s case the fact that the review was a positive one is cause for a boyish grin to break out as he reads it aloud for possibly the one-millionth time.


‘In Irish Wine, the author Dick Wimmer has created one of the most captivatingly manic artists found in literature since the raucous rascally Gulley Jimson of Joyce Carey’s book, ‘The Horse’s Mouth’ … it is also part J.P. Donleavy’s ‘Ginger Man’ part James Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ part Keystone Cops and wholly entertaining.

Section of feature by Kate Shanahan, Irish Press, 26August, 1989

Mulligan’s – a link from drink to ink?


Representation of Joyce at Mulligan’s. Illustration (adapted) by Dave Gleeson

mw08181James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in history. He frequented Mulligan’s before leaving Ireland and used the pub for a scene in Counterparts, one of a collection of short stories in Dubliners (1914).



Keneally, enjoying a pint in Mulligan’s in 1992. Image (adapted) from original Irish Press photograph (below)

Thomas Keneally (born 1935) is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction.

Keneally chose Mulligan’s to launch his book Now and in time to be: Ireland and the Irish (1992).

Keneally is best known for writing Schindler’s Ark the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982.


The book would later be adapted for film, Schindler’s List, directed by Steven Spielberg. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture.


64206_186571788195831_893838809_nColum McCann (born 1965) has had his novels translated into 35 languages.

He received advice on writing from the author and journalist, Con Houlihan, in Mulligan’s.

McCann’s novels include Songdogs, This side of Brightness, Dance, Zoli, Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic.



Frank McCourt (1930 -2009) won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Angela’s Ashes.

A year before his death, McCourt made a documentary for PBS in the United States called Historic pubs of Dublin in which Mulligan’s was featured.


Screen shot 2015-04-15 at 23.02.21Flann O’Brien (1911-1966) was an Irish novelist, playwright and satirist.

He drank in Mulligan’s and wrote about the pub in the Irish Times. O’Brien is considered a major figure in twentieth century Irish literature.

His English language novels included At Swim Two Birds and The Third Policemen.

Who won’t be found in Mulligan’s?

A quarter of a century ago, the Irish Press group of newspapers ran an advertising campaign promoting the Sunday Press.

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Photograph (adapted) of Sunday Press advertisement. From left, Eanna Brophy, Stephen Collins, Des Crowley, Brenda Power, Mary Kerrigan and, on duty behind the bar, Gary Cusack.

The advertisement ‘comforted’ readers that Sunday Press journalists would not be found in Mulligan’s on Saturday night because they would be busy attending to their primary duties of preparing the newspaper for publication.

The photograph (adapted) reprinted here was one of several used in the promotional campaign all featuring Mulligan’s, the local for Irish Press journalists whose offices were nearby.

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Irish Press advertisement (26 November, 1990).

The text of the advertisement reads:

Even after the pubs close on Saturday night you’ll still find our journalists putting the finishing touches to the latest news reports for the final edition.

So when you pick up the Sunday Press in the morning the news is as hot as your bacon and eggs.

Ours is the Sunday that serves up insightful, fascinating reportage and commentary on the social, international, local and news scene.

Our colour section gives you a more relaxed and colourful perspective on fashion, the arts (and the Arts), food, entertainment, holidays and a myriad of fascinating subjects.

Next Sunday invite the Sunday Press journalists around for breakfast or brunch and enjoy a fascinating few hours in lively company.

Costa del Mulligan’s

In 2013, the Spanish Tourist Board chose Mulligan’s to announce an award for writers, given its magnetism for tourists and literary giants.

It was the second consecutive year that the Board decided to fund the prize, the Travel Extra Travel Writer of the Year.

Gonzalo Ceballos, Director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Ireland, John Butterly, custodian of the Travel Writer Awards and Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra, outside Mulligan’s.