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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 494

The Weir, a play by Conor McPherson, is set in a rural pub in an isolated small town in the windswept countryside of northwestern Ireland. Each of the five characters in the play has their own stories to tell which illustrate the central themes of love, loneliness, and what might have been.

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The play opens with Jack, a local garage owner, helping himself to a drink at the bar in the absence of the pub owner, Brendan.


Jack is a lifelong bachelor, a gruff but lovable curmudgeon who plays the horses and who hides the inner pain of losing the one woman he loved under the garrulous exterior he presents to the world. Jack is the elder statesman of the locals who frequent Brendan's pub. He tries to hold onto the small community of the pub for companionship, but he's also aware that the younger men in the village, like Brendan, shouldn't make the same mistakes he did and end up leading a lonely life.


Brendan, the pub owner, doesn't talk much for a bartender. Brendan acts as the quiet listener, mediator, and master of ceremonies for the locals and their stories. Brendan lives above the pub and feels the loneliness of living there without a family and without a partner. Brendan is estranged from his two married sisters, who are pressuring him to sell part of the family farm. He's torn between keeping the history of the farm intact and selling it off so his brothers-in-law can buy new cars.


Jack and Brendan are joined by Jim, Jack's handyman and assistant. Jim is a shy, quiet, inhibited man in his forties who lives with his aging and demanding mother. He goes about his daily life and handyman business, clinging to habits and his routine.

Finbar Mack

Brendan, Jack, and Jim tell each other lies, stories, and gossip until their friendly banter...

(The entire section contains 494 words.)

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