A popular Arlington, Virginia, pub remains closed after a ride-share driver crashed his car into the building in August.
On Thursday night, a fellow pub owner in Shirlington rallied the community to support the owner and staff of Ireland’s Four Courts pub.
Arlington County police are still investigating the crash on Wilson Boulevard in the Courthouse neighborhood.
Police said Thursday it appears the ride-share driver had a medical emergency just before the crash, and that all nine people taken to the hospital have since been released. Four Courts managing partner Dave Cahill told WTOP that he is waiting for the ride-share company to complete its investigation into the crash before they can begin demolition and repairs.
In the meantime, he said other restaurants have already helped them out, including by hiring Four Courts workers. The employees also got a few weeks’ pay from an online fundraiser.
Within days of the crash, Mark Kirwan, owner of Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington, began organizing Thursday’s fundraiser at his establishment.
“You know, it’s a very small Irish community here in the D.C. Metro area, so you kick one of us, we all limp,” Kirwan said about the outpouring of support for the beloved pub and its owner.
Soon after opening his doors at 6 p.m., he already had a full house, which wasn’t a typical Thursday night.
“This business you’re seeing tonight is a representation of how much people love Ireland’s Four Courts and Jimmy Fagan,” said Kirwan. “He’s a great man and a true gentleman, so the least we could do is gather a few musicians and dancers together and raise a pint and make some money for him and his staff.”
Laura Murphy, with the McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance, said their dancers have performed at Four Courts for St. Patrick’s Day the last few years and wanted to be a part of the fundraiser.
“We saw it on social media, and my first reaction was to reach out to Samuel Beckett’s and say, ‘Can we contribute?'” she said. “Can we participate in some small way and give back and help raise some funds to rebuild this amazing establishment?”
Molly Murphy, 16, said she has been Irish dancing since she was 4 years old.
“This has been a really big part of my life,” Murphy said, “Being able to help a place that has helped me come to where I am today is really important.”
The pints were freely flowing and the food was plentiful as the crowd bought arms’ lengths of raffle tickets and bid on the silent auction items collected for the event.
Kirwan said the community responded generously to his auction requests, donating everything from hotel stays to beer-lovers’ accessories to golf bags.
“We even have a divorce attorney who came here offering five hours of her services,” he said.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the fundraiser at Beckett’s Irish Pub will benefit the owners and staff at Ireland’s Four Courts Pub.