The closure of pubs and restaurants due to Covid-19 restrictions led to a 6.6% fall in the amount of alcohol consumed per capita last year.

Almost a year ago pubs shut down as the country got to grips with the first wave of the pandemic, with those that serve food allowed to reopen at the end of June.

Pubs that did not serve food - referred to as 'wet pubs' - reopened in most counties at the end of September, but this was short-lived as the country re-entered lockdown in mid-October.

Figures released by Revenue show that these closures contributed to a 17.3% decline in beer consumption in 2020, compared to 2019.

Cider was also hit hard by the closures, with an 11.4% decline compared to the previous year.

However, some tipples were more popular among those seeking to wet their whistle at home.

Spirit consumption increased marginally, by 0.7%, while the amount of wine consumed in 2020 increased by 12%.

Overall, the total volume of alcohol consumed in 2020 fell by 5.1%.

Drinks Ireland, which represents Irish alcoholic drink producers and suppliers, said this increase in wine sales reflects the general trend of most wine sales being driven by the off-licence trade.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said "there is a growing and misleading narrative that alcohol consumption increased last year during lockdown."

She said these Revenue figures show that "this is simply not true".

"While off-trade sales predictably increased when the on-trade was closed, this was not enough to offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption across the board," Ms Callan added.