Grace Neill’s in Donaghadee, Co. Down, is reputed to be the oldest original pub in Ireland (though this is contested) – built in 1611 when it was known as “The King`s Arms”.
The History of Grace Neill’s
The pub was renamed Grace Neill`s after a patron of the pub, and a Donaghadee resident who lived for 98 years (died 1918). She ran the inn for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries. She was a lady full of character, who ran a welcoming establishment and liked to keep a watchful eye on proceedings, whilst puffing happily on her clay pipe. Her `benign ghost` is said to be present in the building to this day.
The Haunted History of Grace Neill’s
Grace Neill’s ghost (among the host of other spectres) is said to frequent the front bar, straightening glasses, tidying furniture and switching lights on and off. Shuffling has been heard on the second floor and occasionally an old woman in Victorian clothing has been seen. People have also felt an invisible presence ‘pass through them’ in the vicinity of the pub’s staircase.
Despite all this ghostly activity the present landlord is keen to to point out that customers have nothing to fear from Grace, and describes her as a “friendly and welcome wraith“.