We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

way out west

Which county in Ireland has the most pubs per person?

AIB’s Pubs Outlook looked at the state of the Irish pub sector, and predicts further growth in 2018.

aib pubs AIB AIB

MAYO IS THE county with the most pubs per head of population in Ireland.

According to figures just released as part of AIB’s Pubs Outlook 2018, it showed that there is one pub for every 323 people in Mayo.

On the other end of the spectrum is Dublin, which has one pub for every 1,649 people in the county.

The report looks at the state of the Irish pubs industry, and finds that while there is a degree of “stability and demand” for pubs in areas such as Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, rural pubs are facing challenges.


The county with the most pubs in Ireland is actually not Dublin, despite it having the largest population.

It is Ireland’s largest county Cork that has the most pubs with 955, compared to Dublin’s 772.

In Cork, there is one pub for every 543 people.

With its 373 pubs, Mayo has the most pubs per head of population and other counties closer to this are Kerry (with one pub for every 344 people), Tipperary (one pub for every 350 people) and Clare (one pub for every 383 people).

Counties surrounding Dublin are the ones with the least number of pubs per head of population, including Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.

The county with the least amount of pubs is Laois, with 123, closely followed by Offaly, with 126.

State of the industry

The report found that Dublin has been the quickest to recover from the economic downturn and other cities are following suit.

Despite this stability and growth, many publicans are still vulnerable according to Tony Morrissey, the managing director of pub specialist auctioneering firm Morrisseys.

He said: “If a pub is not turning over €8,000-€9,000 a week in rural areas, then it’s going to be very difficult to survive.

The same is true of Dublin and if a pub is not turning over between €12,000-€13,000 a week, it’s in trouble.

Publicans, Morrissey said, have reacted to notable changes in the past few years including a growing demand for craft beers and spirits like whiskey and gin.

“Although the craft beer market still only represents 4% of the overall market for beer, it’s growing and many pubs now have to offer a number of craft beers to their customers who clearly favour them over the traditional brands,” he said. “It’s the same with spirits.”

He concluded by saying that 2018 will continue to see confidence returning to the pub sector.

Read: Wallace tells minister: ‘It’s not possible for brewery visitors to drink as much craft beer as commercial beer’

Read: ‘You could be offered €100,000 – it’s big money’: Pubs reveal drinks firms’ exclusive deals

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel