I have certainly come across this before. When people in town had to go to the pump to get their water, they'd stop and chat. So the "Town Pump" became a centre for the exchange of gossip, rumour and ideas. Rather like the forum in a Roman city.
So one might imagine Patrick Wethered to be a key local source of chat, advice, gossip and friendly communication generally.
Edit to include a reference:
I haven't yet found a matching reference to "town pump" but had a little more success with "village pump":
a village pump is like a waterhole or a water-cooler, just somewhere
people gather because they go there every day, and therefore somewhere
people end up chatting - Wikipedia Talk
This page is also interesting because it seems to be about renaming a newsletter or suchlike as "Agora", which is the Greek version of the forum. Maybe this Wikipedia page is not a recognised authority, but the term is obviously known by others.
Perhaps it has to be "town pump" in the context of Dublin?