The economic crisis threatens Ireland’s most sociable institution: Every second day closes somewhere between Sligo and Cork a pub. So that his guests continue to come, a host has come up with something.
Is dense fog over the Kilflynn, Mike Parker can not see far. Still, he presses on the accelerator. It’s half past one in the morning. Mike had a long day, he wants to go to bed, but first he has to John and Dan bring home.
“They had a few beers in my pub,” he says. To let you go home alone, drunk, in this weather, the many narrow paths that run through the county Kerry in southwest Ireland? “Far too dangerous.”
Mike Parker when the pub closes at midnight, begins its second layer. Then he drives his guests home, more than 30 kilometers, he lays back on a normal night of the week. On the weekends he is traveling up to two hours. Nearly 300 people live in Kilflynn, there are two pubs, two churches, a mom-and-pop shop, a small restaurant and a post office. Taxis are not in the no man’s land.
And when Mike ordered one in the next town, Tralee, then it takes almost half an hour. Many guests is the taxi too expensive anyway, eventually Mike offers his driving service for free. “Without this service, I would have to close down my pub long because many guests would stay at home,” he says.
The Irish economy is in tatters, the country is in the deepest recession in decades. The state saves on the expense of ordinary people, he raises taxes, cuts in social services. Many Irish people have high debt or find a job, comes with some both.
You can not just four euros for a beer in the pub afford to buy alcohol for about half the price in supermarkets and petrol stations. For the pubs that has consequences: More than 1500 had been close since the crisis erupted five years ago.
Ireland Pub Crisis:Irish songs on grandfather’s violin
Mike Parker also feels the crisis in his pub he runs in the third generation. “It’s been pretty quiet, especially during the week,” he says. Previously farmers had already passed in the morning for a short break for a beer. Today he opens his pub until about five in the afternoon, before anyone would come anyway.
The idea with the car service his father. Only a few people drove Mike home, meanwhile, his offer has got around in the area. “Some people come specially to me why,” says Mike.
Today the pub is full. It’s Thursday, the hurling team plays in the place next door and is expected in the pub later. Mike on the green track jacket the team. He carries with pride, he says.
Many have come to receive the crew. Men sit at the small tables, discussing the government and the bad weather. In the corner of five teens have been unpacked their instruments, they play traditional Irish songs.
“With this music we grow up here, and the tools we learn as a child,” says Susie Rice. Her violin formerly belonged to her grandfather. “I mean it is very much on the same playing the violin like him,” says the 14-year-old.
John Brennan listens to the music, his leg bouncing to the beat. “The pub is a meeting place for young and old, musicians and farmers. It’s not about the beer, but to meet friends and other villagers,” says the 67-year-old.
He lives with his wife a few miles outside of Kilflynn, sold trucks. Before the crisis, his business was much better, but he did not complain. “Many have had very good years, now the times are just bad again,” he says. So it was now time. The Irish suffer quietly.
Ireland Pub Crisis:Golden days are gone
The door opens, and Seán occurs. Another violinist. Three years ago he moved from the city of Galway in the west of the island in the small Kilflynn. “Seán came because of love,” said John, tapping him on the shoulder. “That’s not true, I am because of the love remained in this nest,” jokes Seán. He grabs his violin, takes a stool, sits on over to the other musicians and goes into the song.
A little later, finally comes the hurling team. Seven men in jogging suits, their heads lowered, the game they lost. A guest orders a round with Mike for the boys, knocking them encouragingly on the shoulder. “Sporting the golden days are over,” says Mike. Two years ago, the team won the championship in County Kerry, now they lose one game after another.
“We have a problem at all to make a team,” said Mike. In just one month, five players have left the country because they could not find a job. Three have gone to Australia, two to try their luck in the United States. “In general, the young people do not come back when they have left the country once,” says Mike.
Unemployment is a problem in all of Ireland, it is particularly large in Kerry. Nearly one in four is unemployed. Mostly it is the young men who can not find a job. Around Kilflynn is the suicide rate is well above the national average. All Ireland is currently discussing the question: How can the country offer young people a perspective?
Irısh Pub Crisis:To cheap milk to expensive beer
Truck dealer John can understand that many young people leave the country. “If I had my whole life ahead of me, I would probably also look into the distance.” But he cares not only about the young people, but also to the elderly. “Friends of mine live so far outside a village because sometimes a car comes past days,” he says.
Social isolation is the second major issue in rural Ireland. A few weeks ago was a television crew in the area to Kilflynn and reported on it. In many villages the shops have closed down in the recession, the post offices were closed, even the police had to close many outposts in rural areas – one of the many cost-cutting measures of the state.
It’s getting late. Those who do not have much home is already gone. John and Dan, a farmer, sitting at a table, drinking their beer and discuss the milk and beer prices. For milk there was little money, says Dan, but the beer will become more expensive. A dilemma for an Irishman. Mike comes to the table. “I’m on now, drink and sit down to talk in the car,” he says. Mike wants only the two go home, then later the guys from hurling team.
When the van einbiegt on John’s farm, the suddenly nervous. “What’s the matter, did you forget your key?” Asks Mike. “No,” John says, “I thought to., But I’m afraid I’ve forgotten my wife in the pub. Hurling She stood at the boys.”
Mike goes an extra round this evening. But he does it like he says, as long as people come to him in the pub and have fun.