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18 Aug 2022

Maghera area has highest concentration of pubs in County Derry

Department for Communities (DfC) data has detailed the number of liquor licences in every DEA.

Maghera area has highest concentration of pubs in County Derry

Patrons enjoying McKenna's Bar, Maghera last year. The pub is among 23 liquour licences in the Carntogher area.

The electoral ward of Carntogher has the highest concentration of licensed premises within County Derry, government data has revealed.

Department for Communities (DfC) statistics revealed the electoral ward had the most liquor licences of all the county's district electoral areas (DEAs) in December 2021.

The ward – which covers Maghera, Swatragh and the surrounding areas – had 23 liquor licences attached to licensed premises in the area.

When the Department crunched the numbers, Carntogher had 13.0 licences per 10,000 of the DEA's population, the highest among wards exclusively in County Derry.

Magherafelt was hot on the heels of its neighbour, with some 21 licences registered – which works out at 10.9 per 10,000 of population, with the Moyola district ranking third on 18 (9.6 per 10,000).

The wards with the lowest number of liquor licences were those alongside the River Bann, with Coleraine and Bann each registering 13 licences.

The former's larger population meant it ranked bottom with 5.3 licences per 10,000 of population, while Bann ranked slightly higher with 7.3.

Caoimhe McKenna from McKenna's Bar, Maghera, said local pubs have an important role to play in the area.

“As a more rural establishment, we see ourselves as not only a bar, but as being a hub for the local community,” she said.

“From drinks after Christenings to salutes after a wake or funeral, we are privileged to be at many milestones of our patrons lives.

“Older hands playing 45 during the week or younger rivals dissecting the lastest various club performances, or all united behind Derry, there's always some buzz about the pub.

“After a couple of trying years due to Covid, it's been great to welcome our patrons back, and importantly, a new generation of locals who have now joined us.

“Long may it last,” added Caoimhe.

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