65 pubs in Clare fail to renew their licences – BREEN

August 23rd, 2010 - Pat Breen

65 pubs in County Clare have not renewed their licence in the past 12 months and amid fears that many more pubs will be wiped out with over 3,000 jobs lost in the Industry in the past six months alone, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has warned today (Monday) that there will be further closures and job losses if the cost of doing business in this country continues to rise and if rural transport initiatives are not put in place to assist Publicans in Rural areas whose businesses are facing meltdown.

“Over the past three years there has been a huge increase in the number of publicans who have chosen not to renew their licences. In the past 12 months alone over 1,289 licences have not been renewed, 65 of which are located here in County Clare. Since 2006, 20,000 jobs have been lost in the Industry, with 3,000 jobs lost in the last six months alone.”

“The cost of lighting, heating, maintenance and insurance costs are forcing a lot of publicans to close their doors. They will face further pressure over the coming months with a 5% hike in electricity charges on the way with a further review by the Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Eamon Ryan anticipated in September which will drive up costs more.”

“The highest number of pub closures are outside of Dublin area and given the change in drinking behaviour which has resulted in more and more people choosing to drink at home; the fact that is little if any public transport in most rural areas is a contributory factor to the growth of rural isolation which is now a real cause for concern.”

“Earlier this year, the Joint Committee of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs put forward a number of recommendations which should be considered by Government namely that A) An integrated five year Rural Transport Policy should be adopted. B) An authority with responsibility for delivering this strategy must be established and C) A percentage of the carbon tax yield should be ring-fenced to fund rural transport initiatives.”

“Rural publicans who run buses to facilitate their customers and drive them home after a night out should also be exempted from VRT.”

“The Irish Pub has been voted Ireland’s’ top tourist attraction but if tourists are to continue to enjoy the Irish Pub experience then action must be taken to address the factors including the high cost of doing business which has seen many pubs close their doors over the past six months.”