Half of Ireland’s pubs and bars are in danger of closure thanks to the current recession according to a new report.

Vision-Net, a credit risk assessment firm, has warned that the traditional Irish pub may become a thing of the past.

Landlords are struggling to cope with falling trade, rising costs and the effects of Ireland’s tough drink driving laws.

The Irish Sun reports on the shock study of the bar trade which also warns that a similar proportion of restaurants and hotels are at high risk of having to close down.

The Vision-Net report clearly lays the blame for the collapse of the pub business on the continuing economic crisis.

The company’s Managing Director Christine Cullen: “Irish pubs and restaurants have been hit hard by the recession.

“Stress-tests at 945 pubs discovered owners and managers at 49 per cent felt they were in danger of collapse.

“The survey found that 190 pubs, or 20 per cent of those sampled, were at medium risk of failure while 296, or 31 per cent, were deemed low risk.”

The report says that the overall number of bars in Ireland has plummeted by over 1,000 from a high of 8,600 in 2005 at the height of the Celtic Tiger.

And the drinks industry is set for another blow with Minister Leo Varadkar refusing to confirm weekend reports of a ban on alcohol companies sponsoring sporting events.

The reports said Junior Health Minister Alex White has drawn up plans to have all major sports events free of drink promotions by 2020.

Minister Varadkar said no agreement had been reached and said: “The facts in Ireland are that alcohol consumption is falling.”