Sorry, I meant specifically the directory, which is doing badly in the search rankings.
Google for against the grain, porterhouse, oslo galway, or lucan county. The beoir directory doesn't make the results. Search for bull and castle and the directory makes the middle of page 3. Google for beers, galway hooker, metalman, again the directory doesn't make the search results.
The Indo and others do the wordy URLs because they really do help.
They did help a few years back, but SEO has shifted a lot since then. If the words 'Bull and Castle' is in the directory then it will be given the same rank no matter if the words appear in raw html, the URI or even part of an image filename. I've tried to find some words of wisdom from Matt Cutts (the Google SEO guru) on this but anything I find from him is old- probably because of the changes in the rules.