One of Dublin’s most loved barmen pulls his last pint after 40 years

by Dublin Gazette
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Anyone familiar with Devitts of Camden Street is probably familiar with barman Frank Boyce, who has been behind the bar of the watering hole for over 40 years.

He originally began his bar-tending career in the late 1960s, before moving to a long, hardworking stint at the popular GAA pub, frequented by local businesses and residents alike.

He moved to Devitts from The Orchard in Stillorgan a month after the Camden Street haunt opened, and Frank has worked there ever since, becoming part of the fabric of the popular pub and a familiar face to punters.

Now, Frank is retiring from the long-standing pub after more than 40 years working alongside both the Devitt family, and more recently, the Mangan family, who took over ownership of the pub two years ago.

Speaking to Dublin Gazette, Deirdre Devitt, who grew up in the pub and alongside Frank, spoke remarkably highly of Frank and the work he has done in the pub over the years.

She said: “We’ve been in Devitts for years, but my dad retired two years ago, and we sold two shares of the pub to the Mangan group, but we’re still involved in the company.

Willie Devitt, Frank Boyce and Paul Mangan outside Devitts of Camden Street. Picture:

“Frank worked with us in Devitts from the start. My dad and his cousin, Andy, were partners in business, and his cousin came across Frank in the Orchard in Stillorgan in the 1970s.

“When we opened Devitts in July 1977, Frank joined shortly afterwards.

“He was, for all intents and purposes, manager for all those years. He was in the trade for probably about ten years before that, so he’s been working in the pub industry for more than 50 years, but for 41 years in Devitts. He’s absolutely earned his retirement!

“As my dad Willie said, he never met a more loyal person – Frank was so loyal to us over the years.

“We were a family business, so often it was Frank, dad and us, so he really became part of the family; we were very close.”

The pub held a retirement party for Frank in recent weeks, which had a huge turnout of people looking to pass on their good wishes, including punters who hadn’t visited the bar in some time, all to say goodbye to the familiar face.

Deirdre added: “50 years in the trade is a long, long time to be having the same conversations with people every day, on your feet, in the same job, but it’s just a testament to the kind of barman, and kind of man, that Frank is.

“Frank is very pleasant and quiet enough, but he had a great sense of humour as well. He loved a laugh, but he was quiet enough – an absolute gentleman.

“Nobody had a bad word to say about him.”

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