Wednesday 23 October 2019

In for a pound: How do Dublin pubs react when we pay for a pint with sterling?

Conor McCrave with Damien Ryan of Madigan’s, which accepts sterling Photos: Arthur Carron
Conor McCrave with Damien Ryan of Madigan’s, which accepts sterling Photos: Arthur Carron
Josh Whelan in Murray’s of O’Connell Street, where sterling is not accepted Photos: Arthur Carron
Alan Doyle in Pillar pub, Westmoreland Street, where sterling is taken. Photo: Arthur Carron
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

The claim visitors to Dublin can buy a pint with sterling just as easily as they could with euro is well off the mark, according to bar staff in the capital.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis made the claim this week when he said customers could buy a pint in Dublin with pounds as easily as they could with euro.

"It doesn't matter whether you carry a euro or pound, you can buy your drinks in Belfast in euro and you can buy in Dublin with pounds," he said.

But staff in some of the capital's busiest bars told Independent.ie it isn't as simple as just paying with sterling.

"I'm not a bank," said Alan Doyle, who manages Pillar bar on Westmoreland Street.

"We do get a lot of people coming over from the UK and hens and stags. A lot of them have the money but those who don't I will change it 'one for one'."

Josh Whelan in Murray’s of O’Connell Street, where sterling is not accepted Photos: Arthur Carron
Josh Whelan in Murray’s of O’Connell Street, where sterling is not accepted Photos: Arthur Carron

"The majority of the bars in Dublin don't take sterling and if they do, I'm sure some of them just charge as in euro," said Josh Whelan of Murray's in O'Connell Street.

"We get a lot of tourists from Northern Ireland the UK. We get the odd person ask if we take sterling but we don't."

Madigan's bar on O'Connell Street does accept sterling, but again uses the 'one for one' method that other bars are using.

"Everybody's welcome and if they've the money we'll take it," said Damian Ryan, who runs Madigan's.

Bar owners say more and more tourists are catching on to the loss they face, so opt to pay by card instead.

"Cards now account for about 48pc to 52pc of our business," said Pat Woods, owner of The Dame Tavern.

Irish Independent

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