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These were the most popular drinks in the Dáil bar this year

Almost €10,000 was spent in the Dáil’s two bars since September.

GUINNESS REMAINS THE most popular drink in Leinster House, with new figures showing that over 600 pints of the black stuff were poured in the Dáil’s bars this year.

Records released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that €9,183 was spent on alcohol in the Dáil up to November this year, despite the closure of both the Visitors’ Bar and the Members’ Bar until 1 September because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are two bars in Leinster House: one open to visitors and one that is only for use by TDs and senators.

Both bars were closed when Covid-19 restrictions were implemented in March 2020, and while the Members’ Bar re-opened briefly that summer, it later closed again, and did not reopen at Christmas despite being permitted to.

When both bars re-opened in September, vaccine certificates were required to gain entry and to dine indoors. 

The total spend across both bars this year included €2,923.20 spent on 609 pints of Guinness, making it by far the most popular drink in the Dáil this year

A bottle of wine was the second-most popular choice: €1,387 was spent on 213 bottles of red and white between 1 September and 5 November.

The third-most popular drink was Heineken: a total of €972.40 was spent on 187 pints of the Dutch lager, with a further €43.20 spent on eight bottles of the alcoholic beverage. Another 38 bottles of its non-alcoholic equivalent were also sold for a total of €177.20. 

Hop House was the next most-popular choice of drink across both bars, with 110 pints sold for a total of €674 over the two-month period. 

The fifth-most favoured drink was Cork Dry Gin, the most-popular spirit in the Dáil this year. A total of 73 measures were sold for €357.70 in the Members’ and Visitors’ bars this year.

The price of Guinness works out at €4.80 a pint, though patrons also bought ten half-pints for €3 each. 

Pints of Heineken were a little more expensive at €5.20 each, with a long-neck bottle of the lager more expensive again at €5.40 – the same price as other brands such as Bulmers and Corona, each of which sold 38 bottles.

However, a non-alcoholic Heineken was cheaper at €4.80 a bottle. 

Bottles of wine cost €15 or €22, depending on which type of wine was bought, while 71 glasses of wine were also sold for €6 each.

A measure of Cork Dry Gin was €4.90. The next most-popular spirits were Bombay Sapphire Gin, Hennessy, Smirnoff and Sambuca.

The drinks that sold the least also make for interesting reading; a single shot of Captain Morgan’s rum, the Famous Grouse scotch and Black Bush whiskey all sold during the year.

A significant number range of non-alcoholic drinks were also sold during the two months after 1 September, including 603 cups of tea, 367 black coffees, 107 cappuccinos, 43 bottles of sparkling water and 15 glasses of milk. 

The figures also show how almost €2,000 was spent on tobacco products in the Dáil’s two bars this year. A total of 130 packets of cigarettes were sold for €1,964, as well as one box of matches for 25c and 14 lighters for €1.30 each.

- Contains reporting by Christina Finn.

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