We recently caught up with Roscommon town natives and London publicans Aonghus and Tomás Leydon. The brothers are Club Rossie Travel Partners and sponsor the Adult Football League Division Three / Tansey Cup.
Aonghus, why did Leydon Brothers Bars become a Club Rossie Business Member and Sponsor? Aonghus: “The GAA in general has always been a big part of growing up in Goff St., Roscommon town, mainly through our Mum Riona, who is a fanatical Mayo supporter, but also three of my brothers who all played underage; Toirealach in fact continued to play in London until he was 40, so when (Club Rossie Committee Members) David O’Connor and Thomas Carthy asked us to support we were delighted to get the opportunity to be involved.”
What is your most memorable Roscommon GAA Moment?
Tomás: “I remember being at the All-Ireland Semi-Final in Croke Park as a boy with my Mum. We were playing Meath and Derek Duggan scored a wonderful half volley goal, but unfortunately Meath still went on to win.”
Who is your favourite Roscommon player of all time?
Tomás: “Micheál Finneran, who by coincidence, is also a London Publican!”
Tell us about your Business
Aonghus: “We have two pubs in London – The Auld Shillelagh in Stokenewington and also The W.B Yeats in Finsbury Park. I opened The Auld Shillelagh in 1991 and Tomás joined me in 1993. We ran it together until 2000, at which point Tomás took on the reigns himself. Since then the Pub has won numerous awards from Guinness and in 2015 won an Irish Times award for “The most authentic Irish pub abroad”. Last year Tomás won the “Best Barman in the UK” Award at the Irish Pubs Global Awards at The Mansion House. Also in 2015 we opened our sister pub The WB Yeats in Finsbury Park. There we have a slightly different clientele as we serve a lot of food but also as we are only five minutes walk from the “real home of soccer”…. The Emirates Stadium!”
Finally, If your business was a Roscommon GAA Player (past or present) who would it be and why? “Tomàs: “I’d have to say Dermot Earley. Always had time for anyone, regardless of what county they represented,coupled with hard work both on and off the pitch. If anyone ever deserved an All Ireland it was he. A gentleman respected by all.”
The Auld Shillelagh, is located at 105 Stoke Newington Church St, London, N16 0UD. Find out more at theauldshillelagh.co.uk . The The W.B. Yeats is located at 20 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3HU. Food is served from Tuesday to Sunday and to find out more visit www.thewbyeatsn4.co.uk .