Timely reminder how history repeats itself

THE proprietor of the Stores Bar and Lounge in Portsalon was given a gentle reminder this week that history has a tendency to repeat itself.

Seamus McGettigan was going through an old receipt book when he came across a notice that the premises was closing its doors due to the Spanish Flu. The date was October 23, 1918.

“It just goes to show that, at times, events from the past can still go on to become events of the present,” he said.


Back at the turn of the last century, the Portsalon Stores was home to a pub, shop, hotel and a golf club.

“It’s an old docket I found in the pub and I still have the original notice that would have been pinned to the door,” she said.

It read: We are closed 3.30pm until 6pm and at 9pm for night by Gov. Order.

The name of the then proprietor, Gus Barton, is written in pencil on the side of the docket.

“It’s ironic that it’s around the same date that we go back into lockdown – some one hundred and two years later.

“The Spanish Flu came back much worse the following year (1919) so, hopefully, history won’t repeat itself there too,” he said.

Like everyone else in the licensed trade, Mr McGettigan was forced to close his doors on March 15. They’ve remained closed since.


“We lost out on one of the busiest seasons ever due to the fact that people couldn’t go away on holiday. I had spent a lot of money on the place in the Spring-time, redecorating and painting inside and out but to no avail,” he said.

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