A new report has found the drinks industry supports 3,781 jobs in Mayo, generating €84 million in wages in the county.
The report was compiled by Tony Foley, an economist with Dublin City University Business School, and was released on Wednesday at the launch in Westport of a new campaign by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland which is calling on people to support their local pub.
The ‘Support Your Local’ campaign is designed to highlight the significant financial and social contribution made to local economies by the Irish drinks industry.
The launch event was held in John J O’Grady’s bar in Westport.
Speaking about his report, Drinks Related Employment in Dáil Constituencies, Mr Foley said the national economic impact of the drinks industry is substantial.
“There are 8,298 public houses and other bars and almost 1,700 full off-licences. In addition to the large brewers and distillers, there are 25 craft or micro-breweries and 15 new distilleries are being developed. Nationally, the drinks industry directly provides 63,000 full or part-time jobs with a wages bill of €885 million, and purchases over €1 billion of Irish produced agricultural, other materials, and services inputs. These purchases support about 11,600 jobs. The direct and indirect employment total of 74,600 supports an additional 17,500 jobs. Overall, the drinks industry supports over 92,000 jobs.”
Bart Storan is the Support Your Local campaign manager.
“When we say ‘Support Your Local’, we are talking about supporting your local farmer; supporting your local distillery; supporting your local pub, restaurant, hotel, or independent off-licence; and supporting your local community,” he said. “The campaign will be bringing the message about the positive role that the industry plays in Ireland around the country. We will be asking people to support an industry that is a proud part of our history – but which is also an exciting part of our future.”
Anthony Finnegan, owner of J McGing’s pub on High Street in Westport said the Irish pub is part of the country’s tourism product.
“The Irish pub offers a unique hospitality experience that is renowned the world over,” he explained. “When tourists come to Ireland, they want to go to an Irish pub, they want to enjoy a pint in the welcome surrounds of locals. The pub is the hub of the local town, it is the heart of the local community. If we are going to preserve that, we need to support our locals.”