ROUGHLY one-and-a-half million pints of beer were necked across Ireland on Monday as pubs welcomed customers back for the first time in over six months.
Outdoor dining was reopened in pubs and restaurants this week, marking the most significant reopening of the hospitality sector in 2021.
According to industry figures, over the course of the first 24 hours, 1.5 million pints of lager, stout, ale and cider were served in around 4,000 pubs nationwide.
Thousands flocked to beer gardens, roadsides and other outdoor areas to enjoy their first proper pint of the year, much to the relief of an industry starved of customers.
Despite this, only half of Ireland's pubs were able to reopen, due to the outdoor-dining-only rule currently in place.
Indoor dining will resume in July, providing that Covid-19 infection rates stay low, allowing pubs of all shapes and sizes to finally welcome customers back.
Chief executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland Padraig Cribben said that the publicans who did open had a very strong first day back.
"It was a big day for the pub trade as 4,000 pubs reopened for outdoor service," he said.
"The reopening for outdoor service will also see 25,000 staff return to work after an horrendous 15 months.
"We're acutely aware that thousands of our members cannot open this week as they have no outdoor space and will have to wait another four weeks to resume trading."