Get supping... you’re helping to keep village alive

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Academics have discovered what everybody who likes a tipple or two at their local may already claim to know.

Going to the pub is not just a chance to catch up with friends or get out of the house for a few precious hours – those who pop to their local are making a contribution to the local rural economy and helping to maintain village life, researchers at the University of York and the Newcastle Business School have discovered.

The report, prepared for the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, highlights the contribution Irish pubs makes to the economy, with 50,000 employed in the trade and €60.7m (£48m) generated in wages alone.

The research was led by Dr Ignazio Cabras, a fellow member of the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis and reader at Newcastle Business School, who was formerly a lecturer with the York Management School.

Dr Cabras said: “Pubs in rural areas of Ireland, as well as in the UK, play a significant role with regard to both economic and social development.

“In the countryside, a context with reduced opportunities in relation to business, employment and social engagement, pubs appear to ‘fill the gap’, functioning as incubators for a wide range of activities.

“Aside from the importance of pubs in relation to economies and supply chains, this study has examined the significant role pubs play in local communities.”

He said they were used for social events, while sports teams and clubs in rural communities are likely to originate in pubs or be supported by publicans.

Comment: Page 12.