Customers and friends turn out as popular Irish publican returns to London watering hole

Customers and friends turn out as popular Irish publican returns to London watering hole

CUSTOMERS and friends flocked to a London pub this month to witness the return of its popular former landlord.

Gerry O’Brien came back to the The Churchill Arms pub in Kensington for one day only and was welcomed by scores of former customers, most of whom had known him for many years.

Gerry O’Brien and author Tim O’Brien with copies of the book (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography)

The Clare native, who is the former manager of the pub, retired from his role in 2017, more than 30 years after he first took up the managerial position in 1985.

Margaret Cronin, PJ Crean and Jerry Cronin, long-time friends and neighbours of Gerry O’Brien, enjoy the book launch (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography)

Six years have passed since he moved back to Ireland but in that time a book has been written about him, which he helped launch at the pub.

Gerry O’Brien addresses the crowd at the book launch (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography)

Raising a Glass to The Churchill Arms - The Story of Gerry O’Brien is written by Tim O'Brien (no relation to Gerry).

Tim and Gerry with members of Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby, which Gerry held many fundraising events for over the years at the Churchill Arms (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography)

It tells the story of the Killaloe native’s time at the pub, which was famed for its stunning floral displays as well as its hearty Irish welcome.

Gerry signs copies of the book for old friends Peter Coughlan and John Gaughan from the Irish band Hungry Grass (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography

The book includes all manner of fascinating anecdotes about Gerry’s time at the pub, as well as a history of the building and interesting Churchillian facts.

Gerry pictured with former customers and friends (Pics: Malcolm McNally Photography)

It carries a foreword by Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and is illustrated with photographs along with paintings and drawings by author Tim.

The book is being sold at the pub, with all proceeds being donated to charity.