Sunday 19 November 2017

We are not hermits, we have social needs too

John Mallon claims, "Pubs bring people together. They are a great social glue where friendships are made" (Letters, March 31), which is absolutely true, but Edward Horgan counterclaims, "The opposite is very often true. Irish pubs and our alcohol culture have destroyed many families."

Mr Horgan refers, as the anti-alcohol lobby do, to the very small minority that abuse alcohol and therefore thinks that a broad sweep of banishments is the only answer.

Mr Horgan needs to realise that millions of people enjoy going out to drink, smoke and socialise. They are not all hermit-like beings who only surface to work or shop. Social activity is a strong incentive to work and earn money to pay for that social interaction. Give licensees the choice of smoking or non-smoking, let's see which pubs are busier, happier, stay open and survive longer.

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