Sobering times in Ireland

 Traditionally, the Irish are
renowned as being big drinkers, but figures published by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland would suggest that this is not the case
Drink sales have dropped by 11 per cent last year alone, and the Irish are now
drinking less alcohol than they were in 1995. 

 According to the group’s figures, there were 100,000 people employed in the
drinks industry in 2008. However, Irish abstinence means that over 10,000
people have now lost their jobs.
 The majority of the jobs lost were in bars, hotels and restaurants.
However, many barley farmers have been left with useless crops, as there is
less demand for beer production.

 Over 1,500 pubs have closed in the last five years and a further 2,000 are
expected to close in the next 10 years.

  Many blame the recession and the Celtic Tiger hangover, but Ireland’s
mindset and social values have changed in recent years. 
It is no longer socially acceptable to frequent a bar more than a couple of
times a week.

  The price of the pint and Ireland’s smoking ban has forced many people to
drink at home.

 The group says that the cut in
excise duty in last December’s budget did little to stimulate alcohol sales