Tourists want more Irish song and dance in Tipperary pubs

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

Tourists visiting South Tipperary are finding it difficult to locate pubs hosting traditional Irish music, the latest Co. Council meeting was told.

The county’s Tourism Officer Eileen Horgan received complaints from several public representatives that there was not enough night-time entertainment for tourists visiting the county, particularly traditional Irish music sessions.

The complaints were relayed to Eileen Horgan, the Co. Council’s Community & Enterprise Development Officer after she gave a detailed presentation on tourism in South Tipperary to this month’s meeting of the local authority.

Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan told the Council meeting she had just returned from New Foundland and people she met there had expressed surprise to her that it was so hard to find Irish music and dancing in pubs when they visited this country.

Cashel Independent Cllr Tom Wood, who is a former Rock of Cashel tour guide, agreed. He reported that since the middle of August there were very few places in Cashel you could visit for traditional music sessions yet September was very busy for tourists.

“When you go abroad you have entertainment at night, no matter what time of the year. It’s something that really has to be looked at. People are asking before they stay overnight if there is entertainment in an area. I was in a place in Cashel recently and people had booked into it that night but there was no entertainment good, bad or indifferent.

But publicans Cllr Joe Brennan and Denis Leahy pointed out that pubs couldn’t afford to provide live music entertainment “The cost for pubs of putting on entertainment is increasing every year,” said Cllr Brennan, who suggested that the Co. Council could fund some pubs to provide traditional music for tourists a few days a week.

Cllr Leahy said pubs played a pivotal role in tourism, particularly in how the country was perceived by visitors but something had to be done to bring down their cost structures.

“Unfortunately costs have crippled pubs, rural pubs are going out of business every day. There has to be an effort made to preserve them,” he said.

Ms Horgan said they would consider arranging something countywide. It was not an easy issue to deal with as it was up to pubs and individuals to see the value of hosting traditional music sessions, she said.

Labour Cllr Sean Lonergan suggested publicans learn to play instruments. “Then it won’t cost them anything,” he quipped.