Yeah, true enough these places were / are pretty false, what with all the assorted rubbish on display, guinness promotions, toy leprechauns, photos of Brendan Behan , fiddle cases with 'Joey Mc Shamrocks authentic Irish Band' painted on them etc etc, ad infinitum. This is what I mean by ' plastic paddy' - a description of all this nonsense and in no way insulting the patrons, as Mary Garvey suggests.
But, perhaps in their day such establishments, along with the dreaded Riverdance and god help us..the corrs did perhaps give Irish music a wider audience, so the loss of such, as Poppa Gator states does indeed have a downside.
Indeed, a lot of the 'cookie cutter - identical pubs'seem to have gone and many of those which still stand, although upholstered in the old manner have abandoned the Celtic music. There are one or two in the north of England which seem to have been privately bought where the music is still important -i.e, Joseph O'Neills in St Hellens and the aforementioned Durty Nellies in Hull are two that I know of.
So where are the real Irish pubs and is there any music in them ? A lot of these seem to have gone, or indeed gone down hill in the last few years. However, the craic is still mighty in The Railway, Preston and The Lord Rodney, Warrington. Two strong live music venues, albeit with a somewhat of a nod to 'plastic' trimmings