39 Castle St
Gormley’s Bar in Castle Street, Omagh, has remained virtually unchanged throughout its 150-year history.
It has been in the Gormley family since 1920, and although present manager Ray Wilson has introduced some modernisation, it has been done w’ithout loss or harm to the spirit of the bar, a bar which is proudly praised and protected by its regulars.
Recently when its lovely little curtain-ringed snug was threatened with removal, the outcry was such that the idea was hastily abandoned.
The framed public notices and press advertisements for Stabling, Watt’s Six-Year-Old Whiskey, Cod Liver Oil, Knopp’s Razors, and the like seem, in the setting of Gormley’s, more like today’s ads than reproductions of a bygone era.
Lovingly preserved and ranged around the bar and in the window of the snug, are antique crockery Guinness bottles from local bottling firms in Strabane and Derry, and huge crockery jars which once held spirits distilled by Coleraine Distillery and McAlister’s of Belfast, bear silent witness to generations of drinkers who once bought their contents in pints.
Take a look around at the refectory-type dark wood tables, the upholstered high-backed settles, the brass jugs, the wooden paneling half-way up the walls, the almost statutory high stools and brass footrail, and you’d not be in the least surprised if that old 1920’s phone at the end of the counter should start ringing. A voice should ask for two pints of Watt’s Six Year Old, as advertised in today’s paper.