Category: Archive

Hub pub owner dies in car crash in Ireland

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Wednesday in a one-car crash in Inagh, Co. Clare, on the road between Ennis and Lisdoonvarna.

McGann, 43, and his brother Tony founded McGann’s of Doolin in 1976, a famous spot for tourists and locals in McGann’s hometown. Three years later he moved to Boston, where he worked as a bartender before moving to Cape Cod. In 1982 he opened the Irish Embassy Pub in Falmouth, later changing its name to McGann’s.

In 1985 he opened another Irish Embassy Pub, in Easton, Mass. In 1993 McGann sold the Easton pub and opened the Irish Embassy Pub in Boston, near the old Boston Garden. In 1996 he and business partner Joe Dunne founded McGann’s Pub on a street next to the Irish Embassy, joining the two facilities with a common door and attracting some of Ireland’s best musicians to his cozy, intimate setting.

This past summer, Sinead O’Connor thrilled a packed audience at McGann’s with a brief performance after entertaining thousands of people earlier at Boston’s Harborlights.

McGann was known as a generous businessman who was eager to help immigrants from Ireland and other countries. Although he had an easy rapport with the rich and famous in the entertainment industry, he devoted much of his energy to the creation of two youth hostels in Boston.

"Tommy was a great guy who did a lot for the young people," said Pat O’Brien, a bartender at the Irish Embassy. "He tried to make sure they got whatever help they needed once they arrived here. He’ll be missed by a lot of people."

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McGann is survived by a 6-year-old son, Daniel, brother Tony, and sisters Brid, Mary and Nora of Doolin. Funeral services were held in Doolin last Friday. Plans for a memorial service in Boston have not yet been finalized.

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