Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2017

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Guest Columnist:

Ri Ra Irish Pub ambassador Cyril Francis Martin Kenny’s Craic Tour of Ireland



The Cyril Kenny Craic Tour of Ireland.

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The Cyril Kenny Craic Tour of Ireland.

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The Irish pub and restaurant Ri Ra at Mandalay Bay.

Click to enlarge photo

The Irish pub and restaurant Ri Ra at Mandalay Bay.

Robin Leach has finished his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin enjoys the final birthday week of his working vacation with his family, we continue today with our popular guest columns. Here is Cyril Francis Martin Kenny, ambassador of Ri Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Place.

Although I’ve lived in Las Vegas for 3 1/2 years working as a bartender at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Place, I was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. Every year, I go on a journey — not just any journey, but a journey with our customers and staff on a mission to find the real Craic in Ireland and to share what it really means to be Irish.

What is Craic, you might ask? That, my friend, is a very good question; a question to which there is no real answer. It is something that you have to experience firsthand, and what better way than on an unforgettable five-day trip to Ireland with me, the official Ri Ra Irish Pub ambassador, as part of the official Ri Ra Craic Tour, a yearly tradition started by our owners David Kelly and Ciaran Sheehan.

I guarantee that the Craic will be mighty, the banter will be flowing and the hangovers legendary. Over breakfast, we will recant the fun we had the night before, be reminded of the great moments we had forgotten and get ready for another day of adventure.

Ireland can be a bewildering place for some because of our strange way of talking, our quaint customs and, of course, the round-buying business, so I have put together some hints and tips ahead of our journey. If you remember these, you will be golden!

* To us Irish, drinking is a sacred pastime. In other words, the Irish take their drinking very, very seriously.

* You might find yourself in a pub at least once a day. OK, more like twice a day or perhaps all day. Don’t worry; that’s normal.

* Upon entering a pub, don’t wait to be seated. You will be left waiting.

* Keep your hands off the Guinness until the bartender hands it to you. The perfect pour is a tradition in Ireland consisting of a two-part pour.

* If someone buys you a drink, buy him or her one back.

* Don’t attempt to pay for one drink on a credit card.

* Opening a tab can be done, but we’d rather not.

* If you’re really drunk, you’re “locked” or “langered.” If you’re under the table, the locals will say you’re “ossified” or “paralytic.”

* Sometimes it’s best to forgo the booze and have a “mineral” (a soft drink).

* If anyone asks you to dance in a pub, even if they are three times your age and look like they are about to fall down, you always say “yes.” It’s rude not to dance.

* Us Irish will talk to anyone. If you don’t know what to talk about, the preferred topic of conversation in such situations is often the weather. There is always plenty to discuss when it comes to Ireland’s weather!

* Do not greet people with “top of the morning” or say goodbye to them with “may the road rise to meet you.” Nobody Irish, outside of a bad movie, has ever said any of these things.

* Socks with sandals — don’t do it. You will stick out like a sore thumb.

* Go to the chipper and order a battered sausage. You will not be disappointed!

* The way to tell the difference between winter and summer in Ireland is to measure the temperature of the rain.

* The use of the F word is very common in public. It’s even often used in a friendly way; it’s just a very unfortunate national habit.

* If you wake up in the morning and can’t remember what happened the night before, then that is a sign of a great night out.

Life in Ireland centers on the pub, but it’s not always about drinking. It is the hub of the community, a local hangout, where families, friends and strangers get together to mark births, deaths, birthdays and christenings. It is a place where locals will spin a yarn on folklore stories, where the music session starts and a place for a cup of tea and a chat.

Our annual Craic Tour is for all ages, and we welcome everyone with open arms. We will show you the land of the Cead Mile Failte (a thousand welcomes). We will take you on a journey where you get to discover the beauty of our country, from the rolling hills to the green countryside and spectacular coastlines.

But, most of all, it is a tour of the real Ireland, where you will discover the charming customs along with good food, drink, music and merriment.

Be sure to check out our other guest columnist today, Mark Brandenburg, co-owner and president of the Golden Gate downtown. On Thursday, we’ll meet up with Ryan Growney of South Point and learn about Las Vegas Party Petition from Greg Costello.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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