Publicans gather in Athlone for Vintners’ Conference

Pictured at the 44th AGM of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland are VFI chief executive, Pádraig Cribben, president Pat Crotty, and Lizzy Costa from the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

Pictured at the 44th AGM of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland are VFI chief executive, Pádraig Cribben, president Pat Crotty, and Lizzy Costa from the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

New research reveals that more than 50 per cent of the population visit the pub at least once a week, while as a nation we retain a deep affinity for the Irish pub as a social hub at the heart of local communities.

The findings were revealed this week as 400 publicans from all corners of Ireland prepared to gather at the 44th annual conference of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI ) in Athlone, where the importance of the pub in Irish society and culture have been discussed.

The results demonstrate a clear affinity between the people of Ireland and the pub, with 88 per cent of people stating they want to see pub culture and heritage preserved, while 62 per cent of people believe that the pub plays a pivotal role in local communities across Ireland.

The survey found that 52 per cent of Irish people visit the pub at least once a week, with 80 per cent stating that the main reason is to meet friends and family. A further 47 per cent frequent the pub to enjoy a meal demonstrating the high-quality food offering and value for money available in pubs.

Pat Crotty, president of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, commented: “As we gather for our 44th AGM, the results of this consumer research are very uplifting for the trade as it is abundantly clear that the passion for the pub amongst the Irish people is as strong as ever.

“We like everyone else want to see the Irish pub culture preserved, but it’s important that we build on our existing culture and heritage. We need to ensure we continue to move with the times, adapt to ever-changing consumer demand and ensure we are giving people a reason to visit the pub.”

The research conducted by the VFI also revealed that 88 per cent of previous visitors to Ireland outlined they had spent time in the pub. In addition, a staggering 97 per cent of tourists coming to Ireland in the future said they intend on visiting a pub.

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