Nestled on the coast of west Cork on Ireland’s southern tip, Clonakilty black pudding is known all over Ireland and regarded as the country’s best. It is made from a recipe dating back to the 1880s and was first made by Philip Harrington in his butcher’s shop in what was then Sovereign Street in Clonakilty just before the turn of the century. Not long after, Harrington hired a local lad and taught him how to make the black pudding. The boy, Paddy Allman, worked there for the rest of his life.
A short, squat man, Paddy loved hare coursing and greyhounds, a pint of plain and making black pudding. He had one leg shorter than the other and had a specially adapted stool, also with one leg shorter than the other, which he used while making the black pudding in the back room of Harrington’s. The floor of the butcher’s shop was also adapted so that it sloped and Paddy could be standing level when he worked. The kitchen floor slopes to this day.
When Eddie Twomey bought the Harrington butcher shop in Clonakilty in 1976, he didn’t quite realise that along with the shop came two prize assets. The black pudding recipe that had customers flocking to the shop and Paddy, the man that had made it there for over 60 years.
Sadly, just six months later Paddy Allman died and Eddie Twomey decided to discontinue that side of the business. It was a huge mistake as customers began to quickly drop away. It had been the black pudding that was drawing them into the shop. Without Paddy though, all looked lost as he was the only man alive that knew how to make it. That was until Eddie found the ancient Harrington recipe scrawled on the back of a brown envelope. He started making the black pudding again, faithfully following the 19th century recipe. From that moment on, Clonakilty Black Pudding took off and became Ireland’s most famous and most successful.