A FAN OF the Irish local pub has made a call to the pumps for people to share their memories and opinions on the dwindling numbers of small bars in Ireland.
Author and documentary-maker Dominic Mealy notes that at a time when the Irish-style pub is gaining popularity worldwide, the number of locals in Ireland is dropping dramatically. There are almost 50,000 Irish-owned or Irish-styled pubs across the globe right now but the number of pubs in Ireland is now half what it was 20 years ago. There are around 7,500 active pub licences in Ireland.
He has created a website – dirishpub.com – on which the fate of the Irish pub is chronicled and is asking the public to get in contact and share their photographs, stories and thoughts on the issue on Facebook and on Twitter.
Mealy, who wrote a book on the history of pubs in the south east of Ireland in 1991, has noted that some historical hostelries have shut their doors in the two decades since.
The following photographs show the site of The Oak Tavern, at FerryCarrig, just outside Wexford town. An inn or pub had stood on that site since the 1600s but since the building burned down a few years back, it is now just a vacant lot.
Mealy says: “(It) was a favourite of mine. Small, authentic pub located in one of the most amazing settings that one could ask for. A river, jetty, round tower, castles, watersports in the estuary, speedboats… you get the picture.”
Image: Dominic Mealy/dirishpub.com
Mealy explains why is trying to get a conversation started about the fate of the local pub in this video:
Mealy and dirishpub.com is not affiliated to the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland or any alcohol lobby group. Mealy says:
I have no particular axe to grind with this site. My only aim is to start a conversation about what is happening. I would like to get people talking about the issues, to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the Irish pub, its contribution to Irish life in general, its future and its legacy.
What do you think? Does Ireland need its local pubs? Has one near you shut down? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on the Disappearing Irish Pub’s Facebook page.