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Camden News - by RICHARD OSLEY
Published: 29 January 2009
Final farewell to pub legend

Extraordinary scenes on Parkway to honour Dublin Castle landlord on his last journey

NORMALLY a hubbub of chitter-chatter and excitement, this was the scene as one of Camden Town’s busiest streets fell silent in honour of a legendary pub landlord.

Friends and relatives joined a procession down Parkway as Alo Conlon left the Dublin Castle, the famous pub he ran for more than 30 years, for the final time.
Mr Conlon, 73, who died earlier this month from cancer, was taken from the pub at the top of the road to Our Lady of Hal Church in Arlington Road last Wednesday evening.
Father Dominic Mc­Kenna headed the march, while Mr Conlon’s sons Henry and Alo helped carry his coffin.
His wife Peggy walked near the front and landlords from across Camden followed on behind, friendly rivals who celebrated his contribution with a lifetime achievement award at the last licensee’s ball.
They joined regulars from the Dublin Castle and some of the musicians who have played there in the short walk.
“There was a great turnout, my Dad would have liked it,” Henry Conlon said. “We stopped the traffic and gave him one more walk down Parkway. He loved this area. The mourners collected £2,519 for cancer charity.”
The restaurants and pubs on the street also fell silent with customers and business owners stepping outside with their heads bowed.
Members of Madness, one of the bands who got their big break while playing gigs in the music room at the pub, turned out to pay their respects.
A funeral service was held at the church on Thursday lunchtime. It was so full that mourners stood crowded at the back as Father McKenna led prayers and appre­ciations.
Henry Conlon told the church about his father’s pride at running a pub with a famous reputation and life growing up with his brother at the Dublin Castle, one of the most talked about venues for live music across London.
In one anecdote, Henry joked that his father had allowed a punch-up to spill out of the pub because he knew those involved were off duty policemen.
“He loved nothing more than sharing stories with people and enjoying the craic,” he said
Mr Conlon said his mother remained at the helm of the everyday running of the pub. She celebrated her wedding to Mr Conlon in the 1960s in the bar, before the couple took it over.
The service closed with a folk rendition of The Boys From County Mayo, a reference to where Mr Conlon was born. He was later buried at St Pancras cemetery in East Finchley.
The Dublin Castle was closed for two days and nights and there were toasts to Mr Conlon on both Wednesday and Thursday.

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