Once a hardware store, Pagan O’Leary opened in 2005 just off of Granville’s Main Street, near the corner of McCoy Street and Harrison Court and across from the Second Chance Saloon. O’Leary’s can be easily spotted with its brightly painted red facade with yellow trim around a wooden door with paned glass, which is similar to what you see in Ireland in a place like Kinsale or Dingle. The second floor of the building housing Pagan’s features interesting architecture of columns and windows, particularly when compared with the building next door that is strangely sided from top to bottom with vertical slats of aluminum. Both buildings were actually hit by a tornado that came down Harrison Court in 2003 but have since been repaired.
Pagan O’Leary is named for Patrick “Pagan” O’Leary, a Fenian who gave up his Christian name “Patrick” in favor of not accepting any religion. The British, who were particularly fun-loving and tolerant at the time, incarcerated Pagan O’Leary in the paradoxically named Mountjoy Prison in 1865 after he criticized them in The Irish People newspaper. The Poms put him on a bread and water diet until he declared himself to be Anglican, Presbyterian or Catholic. Pagan finally relented after being subjected to near starvation and cruel treatment, and chose Catholic. According to Wikipedia, Fenians were Irish nationalists in the mid-19th Century who opposed British rule in Ireland and were named after the Irish “Na Fianna Eireann” who in Celtic mythology were an elite cadre of warriors who fought directly for the Ard Righ (High King) of Ireland, with Fionn Mac Cumhaill as the most famous.