A staggering 25% of pubs in County Galway have closed their doors since the recession began almost six years ago, it has been revealed by local vintners’ representatives. And it has resulted in a ‘dog eat dog’ situation within the industry with one publican in North Galway charging a mere €2.50 for all pints.
However, the rate in the number of pub closures across the county has slowed down in recent months and the industry report an encouraging Christmas trade – which had a lot to do with the thousands of emigrants who returned home for the festive period.
But the fact that more than 200 pubs in County Galway are no longer trading is an indication of a change of lifestyle and the fact that home drinking has increased dramatically.
County Galway Vintners PRO Timmy Broderick from Kilconnell said that below cost selling of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences had effectively resulted in these closures and had led to a home drinking culture.
Mr. Broderick, a publican and member of Galway County Council, told The Connacht Tribune that the rate of closures had eased significantly over the latter half of 2013 as members of the trade were trying new ventures to bring customers in.
He said that many of the pubs, particularly those based in towns, had opted to try and target the lunchtime trade while more rural publicans were providing music or other forms of entertainment for their customers.
But many drinkers feel that the price of the pint is simply too dear. Late last year the price of a pint of stout or beer tipped the €4 mark while many publicans are charging €4.50 for a pint of lager.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune