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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – August 17, 2023

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – August 17, 2023

Merry Ploughboy Pub, Dublin, Ireland
Finishing Strong

By Jodie Montgomery

Our last night in Dublin, we went just outside the city for a big meal, incredible musicians, humor, and farewell. In an upstairs room of an Irish Music Pub established in 1789, our group of 70 was tightly squeezed in at long tables with about 250 other people. Waiters and waitresses were making their way through the rows of guests and serving beverages, full plates of food, and dessert in addition to answering questions and clearing space for coffee requests. It was loud, busy, and fun.

The musicians were phenomenal, playing everything from memory on instruments I couldn’t name. The reviews on their show spoke of their excellence. The Merry Ploughboy is the only pub in Ireland owned by traditional musicians who perform at every show. I regret not buying a hat with Merry Ploughboy in big letters on it.

Based on the Merry Ploughboy music, Irishmen like to sing songs about tragedy, heroic women, and whiskey. The lyrics elicit every emotion from giddiness to tears. The audience for Irish musicians is part of the fun and may be incorporated in the music. At one point in the evening, after thoroughly demonstrating their musical expertise, one of the musicians announced that he had heard there was another group of musicians in the room, a choir from America no less. He then proposed that this choir perform for all at the pub as the Merryplough musicians had been doing. I looked for where our fearless leader was seated. I held my breath for him, wondering if he had any idea of this opportunity. At that moment, Pastor Ron quickly moved to the front, responded “oh yes we would sing” and led the choir to sing “Praise Him”. The place seemed to suddenly get very quiet and then the praise began.

I remember the hush continuing a bit after the choir finished and then the applause. I treasured the moment and Pastor Ron’s bold lead. Though tired and caught off guard, I was glad to be sitting in a pub in Ireland representing the one true King.

Psalm 145:1 “I will exalt You my God, the King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever.”

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