I started at 17. First night involved 3 pints of Guinness in a pub in Washington St which was known for serving under 18s. Was well langers afterwards.
Cork city and suburb pubs tended to be far stricter about serving underage lads & lassies back in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
God Lee, you were very sheltered. 17! You weren’t tipping the night of your inter cert results or even earlier?
You’re right though. There were loads of pubs on Patrick’s Quay and McCurtaiin Street in particular that’d serve you before (for me anyway) we headed on up to the Arc. The feeling seemed as long as you didn’t abuse it and start spoiling the night out for the ‘real men’ drinkers, many establishments were happy to serve you your few carling and limes. Money was really the only restraining factor. It was common back then to create ‘mixtures’, robbed from our parents booze cupboards. The FCA was another good one. We were only 15 or so and drinking away in the messes in Kilworth, Ft. Davis etc and it was the cheapest pint in the country (no excise duty on booze served in the barracks, back then anyway).