"did not exist then?"
It still does for the tourists,
I am sure that it does, Jim and in recent times both the real music and the erzatz have existed side by side. The last time that I was in Dublin for an extended time visiting my nephew was when Riverdance was at its height. One evening in the Temple Bar told me that the leggy dancers in their micro-minis were not for me, but if you crossed the river, you could still stumble on a worthwhile session.
But all these pubs were providing employment for musicians and dancers and I am all in favour of that.