By Jonathan deBurca Butler | October 7, 2015
John Lennon and Yoko had a love for Ireland, buying an island off Co Mayo. His visits to the area caused a mighty stir as chef, Johnny Carroll tells Jonathan deBurca Butler
THERE was a giddy anticipation amongst staff at the Great Southern Mulranny in the summer of 1969. John Lennon was coming to Mayo and had chosen their hotel to lay his head. It wouldn’t be his first visit to the county. In 1966 the Beatle, who today would be celebrating his 75th birthday, had bought an island in Clew Bay for £1,700.
Dorinish was to become a refuge, a world away from the madness and screaming of Beatlemania, and a few months after buying it at an auction in Westport, he visited with his then wife Cynthia and their young son Julian. On that occasion they had stayed in a hippy caravan that had been transported from England and by handmade raft to the island but this time was different. This time he came with Yoko and their hangers on; a group not so keen on camping.
“It was sort of top secret,” recalls Johnny Carroll, former head chef at the hotel (pictured right). “A few of us knew he was coming but we couldn’t let it get out. I think it was shortly after the thing they did in bed together,” he says recalling their bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton.
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