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Rural pubs dying? Johnnie Fox's has just pulled in €4m

SO, the rural pub is under threat? Well, not if you are wily Johnnie Fox. The country's highest pub is enjoying soaring profits – despite the recession.

The tourist hotspot in Glencullen, in the Dublin Mountains, is about 30 minutes from the city centre.

Last year, it pulled in profits of €334,916 as revenue rose by 10pc from €3.81m to €4.18m in just 12 months.

And the trend looks set to continue, according to owner Tony McMahon. "It's in the middle of nowhere, it's an adventure getting here," he told the Herald.



"We've had seven presidents, eight prime ministers and three royal families here. Not many pubs can boast that," Tony added.

Publicans across the country have been complaining that a combination of the drink-driving laws, the smoking ban and supermarkets selling cheap booze is putting the industry in danger.

But Tony is proud of his pub's continued success – and if St Patrick's Day can be taken as a good indicator of how business looks for 2013 it looks like it will continue.

"It was unbelievable, one of the best ones so far. We had a lot of tourists and a lot of Irish in," he says.

"There are very few traditional pubs left with traditional food and entertainment. Johnnie Fox's is different, it's a friendly atmosphere," he adds.

The bar had just one employee in 1987 but now has 82 staff and despite the tourists almost two-thirds of the customers are actually Irish.