Portsmouth Irish bar celebrates five years’ trading

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AN Irish bar in Southsea is celebrating its fifth birthday.

Shenanigans in Osborne Road was opened by Iain Kirby in 2009, who first had the idea 10 years ago.

He explained: ‘I was in the Royal Navy from the age of 17 and no matter where we were in the world it was always common for the first stop in any foreign port to be the local Irish bar.

‘I was always curious as to why Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, did not have one.

‘The original idea for Shenanigans came to me and became a scribble on a piece of scrap paper.

‘I was still in the navy and so the idea was filed away in the back of my mind for a later date.

‘After leaving the forces in 2008, I subconsciously started planning and looking for premises around Southsea, picturing my Irish bar and what it would look like.

‘I came across the perfect location, on the sunny side of Osborne Road. My Irish bar had found a home.

‘After the endless paperwork and getting the right licences and planning permissions, I got the keys in my hand on October 21, 2009.

‘The first job was to strip the building bare including taking down the three ceilings which had gone up one on top of the other over the years. I stripped the plaster back to the brickwork, ripped out and removed the office space at the back of the building.

‘Money was tight so I did all the initial demolition work myself. The builders arrived on November 1 and Shenanigans began to take shape. We opened the doors to Shenanigans on December 15 to become Portsmouth’s only Irish bar – a title we still hold.’