KILKENNY -- The first weekend of the dreaded smoking ban has passed without incident and several students offer first-hand observations. It seems that smoking has given way to a festival-style mood that mixes outdoor smokers with door staff, tourists, and regulars in search of a good party. It would appear that the new regulations will reduce binge drinking as they force some of the serial drinkers into greater social interaction throughout the evening. In every premise in Kilkenny, queues stretched down the street as young men and women met each other outside for conversation rather than inside while jostling for the toilets. I think it's remarkable to watch.
I am documenting little facts to complement the useful information in The Story of the Irish Pub.
- On average, there is one pub for every 448 people in Ireland today, compared to an average of one for every 242 in 1969.
- In 1700, King William of Orange introduced the requirement that all pint vessels in pubs bear an assay mark, certifying that the pint measure is true.
- Up to the mid-18th century, marriages in pubs were common, because so many were arranged spontaneously.
- Under the Coroners Act of 1846, a coroner could direct that a dead body be brought to the nearest tavern and the owner had to allow it to be kept there until the inquest. the act was in force until 1962.
- Today, pub closing hours affect all pubs at the same time but this was not always so. Before 1880, each town in Ireland operated its own local time. Cork was 11 minutes behind Dublin. The differences caused difficulties with the railways, so clocks were standardised.
Cian Molloy -- pub facts in his book.