'Last Orders' for Bertie and Peter at McCuaig's Bar

THE owners of Rathlin's McCuaig's Bar this week 'call time' on the famous old hostelry.

It is the only pub on the island and for hundreds of years thirsty visitors coming off the nearby ferry have been able to make the two minutes walk from the harbour to call in for a drink and a chat to join the locals.

Current owners Bertie Currie and Peter McCurdy will hand over control of the bar this week with the Roddy brothers taking over on Friday October 1.

The Roddy family is based in Ballycastle but they have family links to Rathlin.

Bertie Currie and Peter McCurdy, both in their 60s, ran the bar for the last 18 years and during that time famous visitors included the Earl and Countess of Essex, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, who popped in this year for a spot of lunch.

Another famous visitor was the former head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, General John De Chastelain, who oversaw the destroying of paramilitary weapons in Northern Ireland.

Both Bertie and Peter - who both live on the island - say they aim to return to the pub for a drink.

Bertie will be taking things easy now but Peter will still be doing some work on his island farm.

Bertie said a number of people will be pleased that the family taking over the bar has island links with a McCuaig connection to the Roddys.

Ahead of the handover there was a 'farewell' party in the bar on Saturday night.

Bertie told the Times: "We had great times in the pub and I suppose visitors always felt it was unique to say they were in a bar on an island. I suppose I will miss it but age catches up with us all!"

Peter said: "I intend to still drop into the bar."