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With the arrival of increased competition in the retail sector, many pubs lost the retail end of their business and concentrated solely on the licensed trade.
Many pubs in Ireland still resemble grocer's shops of the mid nineteenth century, with the bar counter and rear shelving taking up the majority of the space in the main bar area, apparently leaving little room for customers.
In Ireland the local pub is a pillar of the community the same way the local church would be.
It functions as both a place to consume alcohol at leisure as well as a place in which to meet and greet the people of a locality.
Traditional pubs in Belfast include The Crown Liquor Saloon (owned by the National Trust) and the city's oldest bar, White's Tavern, which was established in 1630 as a wine shop.
A family spokesman said: "Catherine will be deeply missed by family and close friends.
In 2004, the Irish government passed a law outlawing smoking in pubs resulting in many pubs having outdoor smoking areas.
The vast majority of pubs in Ireland are independently owned and licensed, or owned by a chain that does not have any brewery involvement, generally meaning that nearly every pub sells a similar but extensive range of products.
Peadar O'Donnell's is a famous traditional pub on Waterloo Street in Derry, while The Farmers Home is another fine traditional pub in Strabane, County Tyrone.
For centuries, the Irish public house has been an integral part of Irish social culture.
Unlike their British counterparts, Irish pubs are usually named after the current or previous owner or the street they are located on.