Up to 1,500 pubs in Ireland closed their doors since 2005

Up to 1,500 pubs in Ireland closed their doors since 2005

IRELAND has lost 1,500 of its pubs since 2005.

New figures released by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland shows that every county in the country has fewer pubs than in 2005.

In 2017, there were 7,140 pubs nationwide – a decline from 8,617 in 2005.

The results reflect a 17.1% drop in businesses across the country.

Cork has seen the highest rate of decline.

In 2017, Cork had 915 pubs – a 25% decrease from 1,221 in 2005.

Ironically, Cork is also the home to the most pubs in the country.

The report also stated that "Wexford, Meath and Dublin saw the smallest decline in publican’s licences. Wexford pubs dropped from 158 to 157 while Meath was down three pubs from 210 to 207."

The figures are based on an analysis of the liquor licence figures published by Revenue - which tracks the number of premises that have publican’s licences.

Speaking about the decline, Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive Officer of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and DIGI member said: “The number of pubs are down 17.1% in the period from 2005 to 2017 which is a worrying statistic.  These pubs are small businesses, mainly in rural Ireland, that provide significant employment and continue to create jobs in local communities.

“In Mayo alone, hospitality and drinks businesses enable 4,095 jobs while in Donegal, there are 368 pubs and 7,445 jobs supported by the industry. This demonstrates the scale of employment that this sector creates rurally.

“However, the sharp decline in the number of pubs is worrying and is further evidence of the need to monitor the industry and ensure the necessary supports are in place to reverse this trend.

“While the Government committed to assist small rural businesses recover during the recession, business owners in the drinks industry were challenged by two increases in alcohol excise tax in Budget 2012 and Budget 2013.  Our punitive alcohol excise tax – the second highest in the EU – slows the growth of these businesses and impacts their day-to-day operations and bottom line.

“DIGI is calling on the Government to reduce Ireland’s high rate of excise tax. A reduction in alcohol excise tax will encourage the growth of our drinks and hospitality sector, return money to Irish consumers and make Ireland more competitive internationally.”