Irish pubs lose traditions

November 24, 2000

The rise of theme pubs is clouding Ireland's pub culture - a key reason for the rise in tourism, according to Mark McGovern, social science lecturer at Edge Hill College of Higher Education.

Dr McGovern says the traditional Irish session, where people play music or dance in a pub, has changed. "About 40 per cent of tourist visits to public houses in Ireland are to 'singing pubs', where there is entertainment for tourists," he said.

"This has created jobs but whereas traditionally everyone did a turn it is now more player-to-audience with a narrower range of music and dance," he added.

Dr McGovern also criticises the image of the Irish being heavy drinkers "when in terms of average per capita intake they don't drink as much as most people in Europe".

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