For the Irish, the collapse of a housing bubble in 2008 brought on a deep recession, toppled the government and introduced international financial control. The crisis has touched almost every aspect of daily life — even the pub. Found almost anyplace in the world where glasses are lifted, the Irish pub is this nation’s most famous export and, according to the Lonely Planet travel guide, its No. 1 tourist attraction. But the recession along with a confluence of other changes threaten the pub’s venerable monopoly on Irish social life. The pub’s woes predate the euro crisis. Irish bar sales have dropped by about 25% over the past decade — 5% last year alone — and the number of pubs has fallen from more than 10,000 to 8,300.
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