The economic slump hit home for Guinness drinkers in the country's best known bar last year with sales down almost 20pc. New figures released by the Houses of the Oireachtas Service show sales of Guinness at the Dail bar dropped from 120 kegs to 98 kegs.
There are around 90 pints in a keg, showing that around 8,820 pints of Guinness were sold last year – down from the 10,800 sold in 2011 – a drop of 18.3pc.
The figures released in response to an FOI request show that sales of Heineken also dropped sharply, from 55 kegs, or 4,950 pints, to 44 kegs, or 3,960 – a drop of 14pc.
The cut-price drink available at the Dail bar was not enough to prevent the drop in demand.
A pint of Guinness costs €4.30 and a pint of Heineken costs €4.70 – this compares with about €4.80 for a pint of Guinness and €5.20 for Heineken in Dublin city centre pubs.
The Dail bar recorded a net profit of €138,600 in 2011, arising from sales of €299,913 – figures for 2012 have yet to be completed.
Fianna Fail TD and sometime Dail bar user, Timmy Dooley said that the drop in the sale of drink could be explained by the increased demand for alcohol from newly elected TDs' supporters in the aftermath of the 2011 general election.
He said: "After any new Dail is elected, it wouldn't be unusual for the Dail bar to have higher demands on the bar between supporters and family members of new TDs."
Deputy Dooley believed that the poor state of the economy would also be a factor in the decreased demand for drink at the bar.
He said: "I would go there the odd time for a pint."
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas said yesterday: "It is a myth that you can only get alcoholic drink at the Dail bar.
She added: "It does a lot of business in scones, coffees and teas along with soup and sandwiches. It is used cafe style and is more of a tea and coffee facility for the members."