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Friday 30 September 2016

Good Friday alcohol ban still splits public as only half want it abolished

Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30

Luke Fitzgerald
Luke Fitzgerald

The country is split over the ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday, as half of consumers believe the law should remain in place.

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Around 36pc of shoppers have said they think the Good Friday ban should be lifted entirely, while 14pc believe it should be relaxed for special events only.

However, half of the 1,000 adults surveyed by Ignite Research maintain that the sale of alcohol on the holy day should continue to be prohibited.

One-quarter of consumers surveyed said they believe the ban lets tourists visiting the country for the Easter holiday down, and more than half agreed that the Church should no longer have this kind of influence. The research also found that 25pc fear the ban, which will be in place tomorrow, will encourage "binge drinking at house parties" and almost 50pc said it will not affect them in any way as they plan to purchase their drinks in advance.

Centenary

Around 49pc of adults believe that the restriction should be lifted ahead of the 1916 Easter Rising centenary commemorations next year, as it would be a "good opportunity to lift the ban for good" while many believe that it may also lead to an "unnecessary loss of revenue from tourists visiting to mark the occasion".

The study also took into account our relationship with alcohol, and just 3pc declared themselves to be heavy drinkers while 61pc claimed they were light drinkers. Earlier this year, there were calls made to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to relax the law, as thousands of tourists are expected to descend upon the capital for the weekend ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final in the Aviva Stadium, which will see Leinster take on Bath on Saturday. More than half of consumers surveyed said it would be "silly not to lift the ban given the economic benefit of selling alcohol" the day before the match, when the majority of the English rugby fans are expected to begin arriving in Dublin.

The ban was once lifted, in Limerick in April 2010, when fans in about 100 pubs were allowed to drink when Munster played Leinster at Thomond Park.

The ban was first introduced in 1927 under the 'Intoxicating Liquor Act' and applies on Good Friday and Christmas Day, affecting pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.

Exemptions

However, there are some exemptions in place and the sale of alcohol is permitted to passengers travelling by air, sea and rail on the day.

Mark Nolan, the managing director of Ignite Research, said that the study demonstrates many Irish people "underestimate how they see their relationship with consuming alcohol". However, he said it was apparent we enjoy "our traditions".

Donall O'Keeffe, the chief executive of the Licensed Vintners' Association, said yesterday that the ban "amounted to discrimination against the licensed trade and made no financial sense".

He said it was estimated up to a quarter of a million people would pass through Dublin Airport over the weekend and a visit to a pub was often a "highlight" of their trip.

Irish Independent

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