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Raising the bar Thirsty TDs kept tills ringing at Dáil bar as hundreds of pubs forced to keep shutters down

Hundreds of pints and shots were served in Leinster House last year, despite the enforced closure of much of the hospitality sector

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The Dáil private Members’ Bar

The Dáil private Members’ Bar

The Dáil private Members’ Bar

Hundreds of pints and shots were served in Leinster House last year, despite the enforced closure of much of the hospitality sector during this period.

The Dáil's two bars both closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with the Visitors' Bar only opening up again at the beginning of September last year.

The Members' Bar - a private facility which can only be accessed by TDs, senators and former members of the Oireachtas - reopened from early July 2020.

However, it called last orders in mid-September that year and remained closed for almost 12 months.

The bar opened again on the first day of September 2021, with new figures showing business was brisk as thirsty TDs and senators made up for lost time.

According to newly released records, Guinness was the most popular drink at both bars, with more than 900 pints of plain drunk during the reduced period they were open for business between September 19, 2020, and late November last year.

A total of €21,405.85 was splashed out on drinks across both bars during this period.

That total includes €4,339.20 spent on the black stuff, which is priced at €4.80 a pint. Wine was the next biggest seller, with customers spending €3,469 on glasses and bottles of red and white.

Heineken came in as the third most popular alcoholic beverage, with drinkers ordering 287 pints of the Dutch lager, at €5.20 a pint.

Cork Dry Gin was the favourite spirit, with 106 measures sold, netting just under €520 in sales.

A total of €63,540.07 was spent across both bars, according to the product sales reports from both facilities, stretching from March 15, 2020, to November 26, 2021.

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The information, released under the Freedom of Information Act, also reveals that tea and coffee were the most popular purchases.

A total of 3,455 hot drinks were served up across both bars, including 1,507 cups of tea and 1,005 Americano coffees.

And it's not just drink which customers splashed out on, with bar food accounting for €36,279.02 of total sales.

The most popular choices include dishes of the day, joints of the day, soup, ham and cheese toasties and beef burgers.

There are three full-time and two part-time staff that work between the Visitors' Bar and the Members' Bar.

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