The First Irish Coffee curated by Noel OConnell

Foynes Airport Terminal,


Co. Limerick,


28 November 1943


Dear Catherine,

                        I hope this letter finds you well. I’m sorry that I am so late in getting home to you.

The plane was awesome! It was a Boeing B314, which can land and take off on water! It had a fourteen seat dining room with seven course meals being served. It also had fifty comfortable seats and two flushing toilets.

About five hours after takeoff, the co-pilot announced that we would have to turn back because of the horrendous weather and return to Foynes.

When we arrived back, after ten hours in the air, the weather made it feel like it was Antarctica and the rain was splashing my face. When we got back inside the airport, I saw a nice little coffee shop called ‘O’Regan’s’ and decided to get some hot coffee to warm me up. I went inside and the chef introduced himself as Mr. Joe Sheridan. I asked him to give me something to warm me as my flight to New York had been cancelled. He said he’d get me something special and told me to take a seat at the bar. I watched him prepare my coffee using brown sugar, whiskey, and he added cream on top. It was the most beautiful coffee I had ever tasted. I asked him was it Brazilian coffee, but he said ‘no, my friend, this is Irish coffee’.

I should be home to you within the next while, as soon as I can arrange another flight.

Love John.