Numerous pubs for sale – but could Dublin barmen come to rescue?

Paul Healy  About 24 pubs are currently for sale in County Roscommon, it was claimed last weekend. 13 of the county’s pub are for sale on the daft.ie website. In total 325 rural pubs are for sale on the site. The pattern of rural pub closures is already well established. In November, the Revenue Commissioners reported that 450 fewer licences were issued ore renewed in 2006 compared with the previous year.   Meanwhile one leading Co. Roscommon auctioneer has identified a possible trend which, if continued, could lead to a number of pub sales locally.    Mr. John Earley (left), of Property Partners Earley (Roscommon) said this week that he has thirteen pubs for sale presently, though not all of them are in Co. Roscommon. Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, which made the claim that there are at least 24 pubs for sale in County Roscommon, Mr. Earley said that turnover in small rambling pubs has dropped drastically because of the greater enforcement of drink-driving laws.    However all is not lost according to the well-known auctioneer.  He says there’s a new type of buyer of rural pubs. According to Mr. Earley middle-aged professional barmen from Dublin who have been made redundant from big hotel groups are selling their valuable city homes and buying rural pubs, without requiring a mortgage.    He sees these people treating rural pubs as their ‘second business’ and only opening them late in the evening.    Tuam-based Paul O’Grady was less optimistic when he spoke to the Sunday Tribune: he says Ireland is ‘over-pubbed’ and added: ‘in general most country pubs finished with the recession and drink-driving laws.’