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Willie Jack a pioneer of Belfast Cathedral Quarter buzz but Duke of York closure a horrible indicator of what could come for others

John Mulgrew


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Belfast publican Willie Jack pictured a his pub, The Duke of York, in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.  Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye.

Belfast publican Willie Jack pictured a his pub, The Duke of York, in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The Harp Bar owner Willie Jack.

The Harp Bar owner Willie Jack.

Commercial Court in Belfast is normally packed with revellers at night

Commercial Court in Belfast is normally packed with revellers at night

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Belfast publican Willie Jack pictured a his pub, The Duke of York, in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

A once familiar heavy, thick and dense sea of bodies packed into the cobbled streets of the city’s Commercial Court and the heaving carnival-like atmosphere of the wood-clad walls the inside the Duke of York will stay silent for some time ahead.

A mainstay for the tourist crowds packing into Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and locals alike – buoyed by the bar’s rich history, the plethora of pub and pint memorabilia adorning the walls – Willie Jack’s Duke of York and Harp Bar have been among the few best-known watering holes which have remained silent, even when restrictions were lifted in the weeks after lockdown.