26 May 2022

Donegal pub to play its part in singer's unique birthday celebrations

Housemartins' singer buys a round at 60 pubs

Paul Heaton

Bonner's Corner Bar in Ballybofey and inset, Paul Heaton

There are celebrations of a very different kind in a Donegal pub today where customers will toast the birthday of singer Paul Heaton.

The former frontman of The Housemartins and The Beautiful South turns 60 today (Monday) and to mark the occasion, he will get a round in at 60 different pubs around the UK and Ireland.

One of the pubs included in the list of 60 is Bonner’s Corner Bar in Ballybofey.

He will also buy a round at Peadar O’Donnell’s in Derry.

The Beautiful South disbanded in 2007 but Heaton and fellow Beautiful South vocalist Jacqui Abbott have continued to collaborate and they planned to tour the UK and Ireland in 2020 but much of the tour was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Plans to play a sold-out gig in the Balor in January 2022 were again cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. 

Heaton took to Twitter over the weekend to announce plans to mark his special birthday

“To celebrate my 60th birthday (on Monday, May 9) I’d originally intended to do another bicycle tour, visiting and performing at 60 pubs across the UK and Ireland. However, due to recording delays caused by the pandemic, I’ve had to shelve those plans for the time being,” he started.

“Instead, I’ve decided that the next best way to celebrate this coming of age is to handpick 60 pubs across the UK and Ireland and put a given amount of money behind the bar of each one. Then, both regulars and yourselves can enjoy a birthday drink on me (until the money runs out or the bar runs dry!).”

Heaton has now shared a list of the 60 pubs on his Twitter, writing: “Thanks to all the pubs and to everyone who visits them. It would be great to see photos of you all enjoying your free drinks and celebrations at each pub throughout the day!”

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