They were once the centre of every community.
But Irish pubs are continuing to close at an alarming rate, with new figures showing that 365 pubs closed their doors in County Cork since 2005, with 54 of these closures in the last year.
A new report from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), published today has shown a continuing decline in the number of pubs across Ireland, with the rate of decline accelerating since Covid-19.
The Irish Pub: Supporting our Communities report, based on the group’s analysis, shows a 22.5 percent decline in the number of pubs in the State from 2005 to 2022 – this represents the closure of 1,937 small and family-run Irish businesses.
DIGI says this decrease sparks concern about the future sustainability of many other businesses in the industry.
What’s going on?
Commenting, Kathryn D’Arcy, Chair of DIGI and Communications and Corporate Affairs Director at Irish Distillers said the analysis paints a stark picture of a sector that is fighting against significant external pressures – many of which are outside of their control.
‘’Ireland’s excise on spirits is the third highest in Europe, our excise on wine is the highest in Europe and our excise on beer is the second highest in Europe,” D’Arcy said.
“We have some of the highest excise duties in the world and the second highest in Europe overall, despite the industry being at the heart of Ireland’s tourism sector and its international reputation as a vibrant destination.
‘’The majority of the almost 2,000 pubs cited in the report which have closed represent the closure of a small or family-run business, the loss of a livelihood and the disappearance of a high-street landmark.”
To address this challenge, DIGI is calling on Government to deliver a reduction in excise duties, which they believe would make “an immediate, positive difference to the hundreds of small businesses in our sector struggling to stay open.”