One in eight bars Irish bars in the Republic of Ireland have closed in the past six years.

The drastic recession, emigration and a huge crackdown on drunk driving are said to be the main reasons why.

Over 1,000 pubs have now closed in that time period with massive loss of jobs.

And the carnage is expected to contine with more pubs closing as even stricter drink driving laws are introduced.

Figures obtained by the Irish Independent show the country had 8,617 pubs in 2005, at the very height of the Celtic Tiger.

Now the number  has fallen by 1,108 to just 7,509 this month.



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Rural pubs are especially devastated. Leitrim is hardest hit with one-fifth of all its pubs gone. down from 140 in 2005 to its current 110.

In Donegal, 71 pubs have closed down while in Cork, 211 pubs have closed.

Many pub owners say the new drink driving laws where less than a pint of Guinness consumed can cause an arrest is the final straw.

 Liam Fitzpatrick, owner of Fitzpatrick's lounge bar in Rathnew Village, Co Wicklow, told the Belfast Telegraph he is in no doubt that business is set to decline more.

"Lads would have come in for a pint and a chat on the way home from work. They would catch up on what's happening locally and what was on at the weekend. There would have been between 15 and 20 of them. Now there are very few," he said.