Three Consecutive Generations of Dublin Publicans – The Buglers

The Buglers arrive in 1954

Austere, shy and reticent Clareman, Tom Bugler, purchased this premises from the D’alton family in 1954 with the firm intention of returning to a semi-rural settlement to enjoy a peaceful retirement, and a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city centre pub life where he had spent his life. But if Tom wished for a peaceful retirement, then he had clearly come to the wrong house for within 15 years Ballyboden had become engulfed in expanding suburbia.

Liam Bugler Takes the Reins

Early in the 1960s Tom Bugler handed over the keys of this fast growing establishment to his son Liam. And Liam was indeed the man for the swinging sixties. Though a traditionalist at heart, Liam became an innovator and opened up his premises to a new generation of educated, articulate and liberated Irishmen and women, who enjoyed disposable income and the joie de vivre to live a life with very different social dimensions to those of their predecessors. Liam passed away in 2007 but is acclaimed across the Dublin licensed trade as one of its finest ambassadors: a truly charismatic, charming and utterly decent publican.

Paschal Bugler – The Third Generation

Similar to his father before him, Paschal Bugler took over the family business at a time of great social change in Ireland – at a time when the established ‘holy cows’ of Irish life were being challenged and indeed when the value system that underpinned Irish society was being radically questioned and changed. The licensed trade was no exception to this movement of social change and Paschal was to the forefront in replacing the tired old formula of Dublin publife. Bugler’s Ballyboden House has today become a pub with greater purpose: a pub where you do your weekly lotto; a pub where you can escape the all intrusive culture of satellite TV; a pub that pours quality wines by the glass; a pub where can you enjoy a few tipples on Sunday morning and participate in a great Sunday draw including a €50 in-house voucher; a pub with a plethora of cultural, artistic and sporting societies that you can participate in, or simply ignore. In a nutshell, it is a pub that has mirrored the changes that have taken place within Irish life itself.

The Dublin Pub Returns to its Roots

In recent years under the stewardship of Paschal Bugler and his dedicated team, this Heritage Pub has embraced older, more traditional values and presented them in a modern setting. But the emphasis here has always been on good customer relations with prompt service in an environment where conversation is ‘King’. The very fact that good conversationalists of all age groups frequent this pub is testament to possibly the pub’s greatest attribute – staff longevity. Make no mistake about it; this is not a pub where you meet new staff every day.

Location, Location, Location

The above heading constitutes what is universally accepted as the three most important things in the founding and potential success of a business. This bedrock has been the good fortune of Bugler’s Ballyboden House since 1798 in what is now classified as a veritable heritage pub. Today the pub remains the gateway to the Dublin Mountains and constantly hosts a great variety of celebrated and regular pilgrims of travel.