"The Drunkard" by Frank O'Connor is a short story narrated by Larry Delaney, a man who recollects an incident from his childhood in Ireland. Asked by his concerned mother to accompany his father, a drunkard, on a visit to a public house, Larry is the one who ends up getting drunk.
After a close friend dies, Mick Delaney, Larry’s father, decides to attend the funeral. This decision worries Larry’s mother as she knows that her husband plans to visit the public drinking house afterward.
Because Mick Delaney's drinking has caused his family problems in the past, Larry is sent by his mother to the public house in the hope that Mick refrains from getting drunk in the presence of his son. In the bar, Larry is given a lemonade by his father, who then orders beer for himself. While Mick is talking to his friends, Larry becomes curious and, unseen by his father, starts to sample the beer.
After finishing the beer behind his father’s back, Larry is drunk, loud and obnoxious, and Mick has no choice but to take his son back home. On the way home, Larry’s drunken behavior, which appears to imitate that of his father when drunk, is witnessed by their neighbours.
At first, Larry's mother is angry with her husband when she sees the condition of her son. On reflection, however, she realises that her son did at least manage to stop Mick from drinking.