Offbeat

By James Somper


A bar in rural Ireland has a new group of regulars after a bird decided to lay her eggs in the cigarette bin outside the pub – and an eagle-eyed snapper even managed to capture a perfectly-timed photo of her new guests exiting their home.

Customers at Marrinan’s Bar in Ennistimon, County Clare were told to stop stubbing out in the bin after landlady Mary Marrinan first discovered a single blue tit guarding her eggs.

John Kelly / The Clare Champion / CATERS NEWS 

“A few weeks ago, I saw cigarettes butts on the ground,” she said.

“I thought people hadn’t bothered to use the bin.”

The following day though Mary noticed that butts were still strewn across the floor.

“I cleaned up but next day it was the same,” she said.

“This time I noticed that the butts seemed to have been pulled out of a small hole.”

John Kelly / The Clare Champion / CATERS NEWS 

She peeped in and saw a nest of tiny eggs amid the cigarette butts.

Keen to make sure the new additions to the bar were made welcome, Mary decided to put a sign up warning her punters to avoid stubbing out in the birds new home.

Instead of feeling inconvenienced, Mary says that her customers are enjoying the new regulars at the bar.

“I put up the sign to warn smokers to stay clear and they have done,” she said.

John Kelly / The Clare Champion / CATERS NEWS (

“About a week ago the eggs hatched so this an important time for them and I didn’t want to attract too much attention”.

Pictures taken of the nest show that Mum and her now hatched chicks are doing well.