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Andrew Cassidy to hand over tiny Meath pub that hosted megastars

By Louise Walsh

The man who brought huge international singers like Jon Bon Jovi and Paul Heaton to his tiny pub in Co Meath over the last 10 years will pull his last pint on New Year's Eve.

Andrew Cassidy persuaded UK singer Paul Heaton to sing in Boyle's by barraging him with t-shirts and mugs saying 'Some day Paul Heaton will play in my local.'

Ahead of handing over award-winning Boyle's to new management on Tuesday, Andrew even got his regulars to star in his new single called Lucky Stars.

Andrew Cassidy. Pictures: Boyles pub.

The popular Slane men 'fell' into taking over the pub, simply because he had worked at booking in all the acts at the venue.

"I met the last owner on the street one day, who told me he was leaving. I said, what am I gonna do with all the acts - the diary is full. He told me to take over running the pub from him," he said.

"I had never pulled a pint in my life and the next day, I was running a pub."

'Some day Paul Heaton will play in my local pub'

Andrew was a huge fan of solo star and former front man of The Housemartins and the Beautiful South, Paul Heaton and decided to ask him to play in his new pub.

"I knew my chances were bob and none but I asked him, via email to play in my tiny pub in Slane. He said that he might consider it one day.

"The following week I sent him a mug saying 'some day Paul Heaton will play in my local pub.' A few months later, I sent him a T-shirt with the same slogan and so on until he finally emailed me, asking to meet him in Cork where he was playing the Opera House.

"I went down delighted to be meeting my idol and he asked me how small the pub was. I said, it's tiny! He said he was playing the Olympia and would play Boyle's the following night.

"So in April 2011, he pulled up in a big tour bus, walked in and said 'Wow, it is tiny.' And at 4am, he was leading a sing-song of Caravan of Love.

"Paul even asked me what it was like to run a pub and three months later, he opened his own in Manchester," he laughed.

Over the years. Boyle's has played host to many noted acts including Aine Cahill and Canadian superstar Royal Wood, who loved the village so much, he returned to live for a few months and record an album.

Top US star Jon Bon Jovi also dropped in for a pint alongside Lord Henry Mountcharles when he flew into Slane Castle for a press conference to announce the band would headline the 80,000 capacity venue in 2013.

The pub also allowed Andrew to fulfill a dream of his dad's before he died - to get Aslan to play in the village.

"Aslan had played Slane Castle but plans by my dad to get them to play in the village itself fell through 20 years beforehand.

"My dad developed lung cancer so I wrote to Aslan explaining the story and they agreed straight away to play Boyle's for two nights.

"It was just before dad passed away four years ago. He was so sick that he stayed upstairs to listen to them.

"After the gig, Christy Dignam and Billy McGuinness went upstairs for a chat and walked my dad to his car. Christy then came back in and asked me what was wrong with my dad.

"When I told him that he had lung cancer, Christy said he was going to get himself checked out by the doctor the next day.

"A few weeks later I read that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Was it dad who persuaded him to go?, I don't know."

However despite the good times, including Boyle's receiving a special commendation in the 2017 HotPress/IMRO Live Music Venue award, Andrew feels it's time to move on.

"We have had the most amazing times but every party has to end.

"I can't keep up the pace at this level and I'm brave enough to call it a day at a time people have great memories.

Andrew will now pursue his first love of music - in which he's been involved for over 25 years - and already has penned a number of songs.

His departure has, he laughs, led to many rumours around the village.

"One man thought I had opened a pub in New York and because I went to Madrid on holidays for four days, others heard I was opening a pub there called Boyle's of Spain!"