Pubs are crucial to rural areas - protect them
Published 13/05/2015 | 02:30
The balladeer used to lament the anguish of "the pub with no beer," but vintners today have other, very first world problems.
Yesterday we heard the plaintive cry of the pub with no broadband.
Porter flows plentifully through the pipes and the Chardonnay may chill nicely in the fridge, but it's the broadband - or the lack thereof - that's your only man, if you're trying to run a bar in rural Ireland.
And the Vintners' Federation of Ireland has a point. We constantly hear of the urban/rural divide, but pubs are an important part of our tourism, and the organisation is fed up at being left behind in areas outside the cities and major towns.
As the Vintners' Federation of Ireland's president Noreen O'Sullivan told 400 delegates at their conference: "We account for over 50,000 jobs and contribute over €20m in employment-related taxes alone."
With garda stations, post offices and banks all closing down across the country, the pub is often the throbbing social heart of rural life, and therefore needs to be protected.