Forest Eireann has just issued a press release commenting on the Smoking Gun report commissioned by the Save Our Pubs & Clubs campaign and widely reported in the Scottish media last week. It follows a report, reported by the Irish media this week, that "The pub trade is experiencing a 'meltdown' with sales down by more than 14 per cent in the first seven months of the year" .
The story was based on figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland whose group secretary talked about ongoing “cost pressure” generated by government-related costs such as commercial rates and regulation.
Forest Eireann's press release informs us that:
Using data from the Revenue Commissioners, researchers found that the number of pub losses demonstrate a very close statistical relationship between the introduction of the smoking ban in 2004 and the rapid decline of the Irish pub ...
Analysis of statistics set out in the Statistical Report on the Revenue website showed that Ireland lost 1,097 pubs in the four years immediately following the ban.
Researchers found a striking similarity between the rate of closures in Ireland following the ban, and those in Scotland, England and Wales following theirs – despite considerable differences between the pub traditions.