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John McGrath, Dungarvan Publican on the future of Irish pubs

John McGrath, Dungarvan Publican on the future of Irish pubs John McGrath, Dungarvan Publican on the future of Irish pubs
Jayde Maher

John McGrath, a publican in Dungarvan, spoke with Damien this morning on the future of Irish pubs.

The discussion was based on a recent report titled, "The Irish Pub: Stopping the Decline." 

61 pubs in Waterford have closed since 2021, compared to 349 nationally. Since 2005, 829 Irish pubs have closed.

John says there are a number of factors that could have contributed to this. These include the introduction of the smoking ban in 2004, stricter drink-driving laws, and pubs being sold to developers.

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In the 1990s there were 50 pubs in Dungarvan. There are now just 14, all of which depend on the tourism sector.

They also spoke about the fact that regulars have not returned after the pandemic. The five or six people who used to sit up at the bar are no longer there.

John says that this could be because the pubs were closed for too long during lockdowns and restrictions, or that people have changed. Damien suggests that people are drinking the same amount but at home.

When speaking on the future of the Irish pub, Damien asks whether John thinks that country pubs will still be around in five years.

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John says his outlook is good and he believes that one day the government will see pubs as a community. He also mentions that country pubs are doing better now than before the pandemic because getting taxis to and from towns and cities can prove to be difficult.

To listen to the full conversation, click the link in this podcast.

For more Déise podcasts, click here.

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