Strong demand for licensed premises sees pubs in prime locations in the Dublin area selling for remarkable prices.

It is said it is every publican's dream is to own one of Dublin’s top 20 pubs. Over the past week publicans have spent just under 1.5 million pounds satisfying that ambition.

Auctioneers say that the prices are realistic and reflect the scarcity of good pubs on the market.

In February 1982, builders Crosspan sold Lamb Doyle’s pub in Sandyford, South County Dublin for around £600,000. The new owners are publicans Bernard Dunne and Noel Curran. On Parnell Street in Dublin city centre, the pub Patrick Conway has sold for £365,000. There has been a pub on this site since 1745. The Druid’s Chair in Killiney is also expected to reach a high price at auction.

When a pub with development potential, in the right location, comes on the market, there is considerable demand for such a property.

Gone are the days when the sale price matched a pub’s turnover.

Since the mid 1960s the owners of The Commodore pub at the intersection of Parnell Street and Jervis Street in Dublin have been fighting a compulsory purchase order. As part of Dublin Corporation’s plan for the inner city tangent of ring roads, it has acquired several pubs, warehouses and other property for demolition.

The Commodore is just one of a number of pubs that will disappear from the Dublin scene.

The Commodore owners plan to buy a pub elsewhere but are unhappy about the years of uncertainty they have experienced. Dublin Corporation will pay them a market price but it will be decreased because they have had no incentive to develop and expand the business.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 February 1982. The reporter is Jacqueline Hayden.