The bar was first established in 1961 when local farmer Francis Breslin purchased the old Drumfries railway house at the crossroads of Drumfree and converted it into a small pub with living quarters for his family upstairs. Though known informally as “The Station House” to the keen locals who gathered there, the bar was technically nameless for the first few years of operation.
It was not until the first extension was built around 1964 that the bar was officially christened The North Pole—the name a reference to Francis’s mother, who while living in the hills of Drumcorra during his youth, would often remark: “It’s so cold up here it’s like the North Pole!”—making for a fitting northern counter-point to Tom Crean’s South Pole Pub in County Kerry!
Today The North Pole Bar is run by Francis’s youngest daughter Hilda, her husband Liam and their three grown children who continue the legacy of hospitality that has made The North Pole Bar famous across Inishowen for many years. The modern establishment comprises an intimate front room snug—where visitors and locals alike can meet for a pint and a chat by the warm open fire—as well as the much larger main lounge where guests can shoot pool, play darts, or enjoy the performance of the local musicians who regularly play there.
In 2016 the extension next door underwent a comprehensive renovation and is now home to a luxurious bed and breakfast as well as a small gallery dedicated to the history of the old station house.