Irish Rugby World Cup Success Fails To Boost Pub Spending

By Robert McHugh
Irish Rugby World Cup Success Fails To Boost Pub Spending

The latest Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse shows that debit and credit card spending in September 2023 fell by a total of 8%, when compared to the previous month’s outlay.

This continues a trend that saw September spending fall back by 6% to 8% in 2021 and 2022.

Pub Spending

The Pulse recorded drops in social spending (-14%), as Irish consumers tightened their belts as back-to-school mode kicked in.

Despite Ireland’s matches at the Rugby World Cup becoming essential viewing, with the clash against the Springboks on 23 September attracting the largest TV audience of the year so far, monthly pub spending was down by 19% in total, with outlay in restaurants falling by 17%, and in fast-food outlets by 14%.

Spending Spike Abroad

Bank of Ireland noted that there was, however, some optimism when spending in France (+9%) was analysed, with Irish rugby fans contributing to a spending spike as they attended Ireland’s matches in Bordeaux, Nantes and Paris.


The regional domestic breakdown was downbeat also, with spending drops of 9% recorded in Donegal, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Mayo and Meath.

‘Biding Their Time’

“Ireland’s victories at the Rugby World Cup didn’t produce a social-spending boost at home, even if card outlay rose in France as the competition progressed,” said Jilly Clarkin, head of customer journeys and SME markets at Bank of Ireland.

“Perhaps the ever-growing number of fans supporting Andy Farrell’s side are biding their time until the knockout stages begin, which could see October’s spending rise dramatically if Ireland can reach the final in Paris at the end of this month.”