History of Irish Pubs

History of Irish PubsIrish pubs have a longstanding tradition in the hearts of Irishmen, dating back as far as the 10th century. Therefore, one could arguably consider Irish pubs as roughly a millennium old and one potential candidate for the title of the oldest pub in the whole of Ireland could be Sean’s Bar in Athlone, Westmeath county, which was established in the 10th century.

Although the Irish pubs were founded so early in the course of history, it wasn’t until the 17th century that the government introduced the need for licensing of such establishments. In this category, the oldest bar which was the first one to be also licensed is the Grace Neill’s from Donaghadee, Down county.

In general, Irish pubs were a cheap alternative for the working class who couldn’t afford to frequent more expensive establishments and many people started to take drinks on credit, determining the government to introduce yet another law for the Irish pubs, which stated that the barmen who sold any drink on credits, could not use the help of lawman in order to recover their debt. Following the enacting of this law, the next law which the government provided for the pubs stated that marriages were illegal in pubs, and this law is still in effect to these days. Although the initial hit of the pubs was significant and the business was good for pub owners, later on, in order to keep their profit within acceptable margins, most owners were forced to introduce the sale of additional products together with the drinks.

This later on lead to the creation of the so called spirit groceries, where people were able to buy their preferred choice of drinks together with other useful hardware items and they were even able to perform ancillary business on the premises of the pub.