Restaurants call for end to 'archaic' alcohol ban
THE country's 'unacceptable' Good Friday drinking ban must end, the Restaurants Association of Ireland said.
Chief Executive Adrian Cummins said the industry had missed out on €15m in revenue yesterday and that the country's 'international brand' is suffering as a result of the 'archaic' ban.
He made the comments as tourists, including a stag who have come to Dublin for the weekend, spent the day scrabbling for ways around Ireland's controversial laws.
"We had no idea until we arrived into Dublin this morning. We went to our hostel and they told us the pubs are not open today," groom-to-be Ole Sassenroth (28) told the Irish Independent.
"They gave us advice that we could go to Northern Ireland and get drink. They said they would let us drink it in their basement. We've checked out the timetables," he added glumly.
However the mood changed when the group learned the ban does not extend to a host of alternative locations including dog tracks, hotels, airports and train stations.
Madigan's Bar in Connolly Station called in extra staff for what is its busiest day. Security man Brendan Butler said Drogheda was "once again the most popular destination on Good Friday". The Louth town is also the cheapest ticket price that will allow "passengers" entrance.
Inside, friends Chris Tuckey, Garry Belling and Michael Redman from Sydney, Australia and Michael Redman from Coventry, revealed they got a tip-off the bar was open.
"The girl in the tourist office told us about this place. It's incredible that this law is still in place. With the centenary celebrations next year it will have to go," Chris said.
Elsewhere around the country two 'inflatable pubs' opened in Oranmore, Co Galway and Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal after the specially-designed bars were hired for private parties by families.