Glass half empty?

Takings are down, taxes are up and drinkers are increasingly choosing to stay at home. These are dark days for the licensed trade in Ireland. Philip Connolly reports.

10th March, 2013
Tom Maguire, right, owner of the Foggy Dew in Dublin, with barman Noel Reilly: 'You're being squeezed from different ends.' Photo: Tony O'Shea

Tom Maguire has never seen it so bad. He's spent 30 years in the pub trade but, he says, nothing compares to this. Between unyielding bank debt, changing consumer habits and falling revenues, he believes publicans have been hit by the perfect storm.

"Trade is falling, costs are rising and margins are dropping," said Maguire, proprietor of the Brazen Head and the Foggy Dew in central Dublin. "You're being squeezed from different ends."

The falling numbers...

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