Spend In Irish Pubs Up 27% In February

By Robert McHugh
Spend In Irish Pubs Up 27% In February

The busiest day for spend in Irish pubs last month was on Saturday, February 24, when rugby fans watched Ireland beat Wales in the Six Nations.

This is according to AIB’s latest monthly spend trend report which is compiled from 67 million debit and credit card transactions in store and online.

Six Nations Rugby

The report shows spend in pubs saw the biggest increase in February (+27%), as Ireland’s Six Nations rugby campaign began.

Spend in pubs increased most among those aged 25-34 while the biggest increase in spend was in Sligo (+32.31%) followed by Waterford (+31.81%) and Tipperary (31.26%).

The lowest increase in spend in pubs was in Longford (+ 14.52%), Laois (+23.75%) and Wicklow (+24.37%).


'Strong Month'

“Many AIB customers kicked off their year with a focus on travel, with airline spend at its highest level ever in January and February of 2024," said John Brennan, head of SME Banking at AIB.

"It was also a strong month for the hospitality sector, particularly for pubs with spending up 27% in the month, likely driven by rugby fans cheering on Ireland in the Six Nations."

Restaurants And Hotels

The data shows restaurants and hotels also performed strongly in the month, with spend up 16% and 7% respectively, AIB suggests this may have been driven by Valentine’s Day.

The biggest increase in spend in restaurants was in Donegal (+18.48%), followed by Sligo (+18.26%) and Wicklow (+17.38%). The lowest increase in spend in restaurants was in Limerick (+ 12.09%), Kerry (+12.24%) and Longford (+13.17%).

"It’s interesting to note that spending in February was strong in the north west of the country, with the biggest increase in overall spend in Sligo, which also featured in the lists of top three counties for increases in spend when it came to pubs and restaurants and clothing," said Brennan.