Irish pubs face Brexit hangover

Publicans say their industry has turned a corner after years of decline...

Irish pubs face Brexit hangover

Artur Widak/SIPA USA/PA Images

A survey carried out for the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) has found that over half of us visit the pub at least once a week.

9 out of ten Irish people said they wanted to see our "pub culture" preserved - and 97% of tourists travelling here plan to visit an Irish pub.

62% of people believe that the pub plays a "pivotal role in local communities across Ireland."

According to the report, Saturday night (31%) tops the poll as punter's favourite time to be in the pub - it's closely followed by a sunny afternoon in a beer garden (26%).

Over half (53%) of respondents have enjoyed a first date in a pub.

The VFI's AMG begins in Athlone today. Pat Crotty, President of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, has warned that Brexit is already having an impact on the industry through falling UK tourist numbers and currency shifts.

"Overall the trade is in a much better place and we are looking forward to the future with great optimism but we are still facing some significant challenges. Brexit is already having an effect as the numbers visiting Ireland from the UK have fallen this year. The value of Sterling is a key issue for us as a tourist destination and with the negotiations around the UK’s departure from the EU only starting we can be sure of more uncertainty in the coming years," Mr Crotty added.

Of tourists who visit Irish bars, music and entertainment (31%), experiencing 'the craic' (30%) and meeting local Irish people (28%) are highlighted as their main selling points.

He has also outlined the other challenges facing the industry: "Meanwhile, excise duty on wine, beer, spirits and cider continues to undermine any recovery in the sector while the cost of public liability insurance is causing havoc for publicans across the country. Add to this commercial and water rates, as well as other regulatory impositions."