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Irish bar dating to 1861 to boycott Heinekens over price hikes

Robert Besser
19 Nov 2022

SLINGO, Ireland: Slingo's oldest pub has announced that it will no longer sell Heineken brands of beer due to the upcoming price increases.

Officials at Thomas Connolly's, located in Slingo since 1861, said Heineken beers will be replaced by those from local breweries.

Slingo, with a population near 20,000, is the largest city in County Sligo. It is located on the west coast of Ireland, and continues as an important seaport.

Paul O'Donnell, who operates the pub, said other pubs should consider switching to local breweries due to Heineken's announced price hike of 50 cents per pint, to come into effect on December 1st.

The price hike will see pints rise to some 7 euros.

In ending the sale of Heineken draught products, Thomas Connolly's will no longer offer beers, such as Heineken, Moretti, Orchard Thieves, Lagunitas, Beamish, Murphys, Tiger, Coors, Fosters, and Island's edge.

Instead, they will feature local beers White Hag and those from Lough Gill breweries.

"I think it's time for more publicans and pub goers to support our local craft beer breweries. There's one or more in every big town in the country," said O'Donnell, as quoted by the Irish Times.

"With only a few weeks to Christmas and with the size of this increase, it's hard to imagine a more damaging decision to the pub trade."

O'Donnell noted that Heineken's 17 percent per pint increase before taxes to pubs will result in a 50 cent hike for drinkers once VAT and the publican's margin is added in.

"I do think this new incoming increase from Heineken is a step too far and Heineken as a company have priced themselves out of the Irish pub market," he said.
O'Donnell noted that he has heard of several publicans turning off their Heineken taps. "And rightly so," he said.

O'Donnell admitted that "one or two customers are not happy" about the removal of some Heineken products, but overall customers are supportive. "Most customers are on our side," he said.

O'Donnell added that he is worried that Guinness owner Diageo will increase prices in 2023. "That is only six weeks away. We don't know if it will be in January or February, but usually prices go up before St Patrick's weekend," he said.

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