Drink a Proud Irish Tradition?

Following the recent debate about Arthur's Day and the Irish drinking culture, RTÉ Archives takes a look at some of the issues being raised as far back as the 1970s.

Denis Mitchell says in this 1970 report for 'Seven Days' that drink is "a proud Irish tradition". He is investigating the Dublin drinking scene in light of a Bord Fáilte campaign to have restaurants' drinking hours and licences extended. According to Mitchell, Irishmen spend £1 of every £5 they earn on drink and tobacco, and 40% of all admissions to Dublin mental hospitals are for "alcoholic insanity". Fr Daniel Dargan of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association tells him that the Irish "glorify excessive drinking". Minister for Justice Des O'Malley is concerned that extending drinking hours could lead to "crime and immorality".

A 'Seven Days' report broadcast on 22 December 1970.

A new documentary, 'The Irish Pub' takes a look at the role of the pub in Irish society and is in cinemas from 4 October 2013.

Brazen Head Pub, Dublin (circa 1970s)
Brazen Head Pub, Dublin (circa 1970s)

'Old Stand' Pub, Exchequer Street, Dublin
'Old Stand' Pub, Exchequer Street, Dublin (1976)

Cassidy's Pub, Camden Street, Dublin
Cassidy's Pub, Camden Street, Dublin (1978)

'The Bailey' Pub, Duke Street, Dublin (1976)
'The Bailey' Pub, Duke Street, Dublin (1976)

'The Baggot Mooney' Pub, Baggot Street, Dublin  (1976)
'The Baggot Mooney' Pub, Baggot Street, Dublin (1976)

O'Donoghue's Pub, Merrion Row (1972)
O'Donoghue's Pub, Merrion Row (1972)

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