Almost 20 per cent of Co Longford publicans have failed to renew their licences amid fears many are shutting their doors due to the recession and changes in drink driving laws.
According to the latest list of figures from the Revenue Commissioners, Longford’s total number of pubs currently stands at 95, down from its 2005 total of 113.
Longford has not seen the same level of decline as other counties however. Westmeath has seen its number of pubs drop by 42 to a total of 171 with 30 fewer pubs also now currently in operation in Co Leitrim.
Roscommon’s total figure has dropped from a previous high of 254 to 218 while Cavan’s overall amount has slumped from 221 to 212 in 2011.
Details of the new figures is likely to re-open the debate about whether the new drink driving limit of less than one pint is having an adverse effect on the future of rural pubs.
“This is not a definitive indication of businesses closing,” said a spokeswoman for the Revenue Commissioners.
She added: “Premises which are closed and in liquidation may have a current licence, while the assets are liquidated and the liquidation process may take more than one year.”
In 2005 there were 8,617 pubs throughout Ireland. Some six years on, that figure has fallen by 1,108 to 7,509.