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35 pubs have closed in Louth since 2005

35 pubs have closed in Louth since 2005

Thirty five pubs in Louth have closed in the last 13 years.

That’s according to new analysis from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.

Their figures show that 71 rural pubs around the country closed last year with 1,535 less pubs in rural Ireland than in 2005.

This equates to nearly 20% of all pubs in Ireland.

In Louth the pub population is down 15.4% in the period. There were 227 pubs in the county in 2005 but this has slipped to 192 by the end of last year.

According to the analysis the hospitality sector in the county enables 2,682 jobs and €53 million in tourism spend.

In terms of employment, the drinks industry alone directly and indirectly employs 90,000, while the wider hospitality sector employs 175,000 people, nearly 8% of all Irish workers.

DIGI has called on the Government to reduce alcohol excise tax by 15% over the next two years – 7.5% in Budget 2020 and then by an additional 7.5% in Budget 2021.

Commenting, Rosemary Garth, Chair of DIGI and Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Irish Distillers, said:

“Ireland’s rural pubs have been on a steady decline for years, despite their immense importance and contribution to local communities across the country. Our high alcohol excise tax has played a role in this. DIGI is calling on the Government to take action to protect a vulnerable part of the Irish economy from further collapse by reducing alcohol excise tax by 15% over the next two years.

“Easing the financial burden of excise tax over a two-year period is a clear signal of support and encouragement to these businesses in a time of economic uncertainty. With the now very real prospect of a no-deal Brexit, Government action and support have never been more important.”