Friday 28 July 2017

Revellers enjoy a cheeky tipple despite drink ban

Some hotels, racing stadiums, theatres, sports clubs and train stations are exempt from the religious tradition. (Stock picture)
Some hotels, racing stadiums, theatres, sports clubs and train stations are exempt from the religious tradition. (Stock picture)

Ian Begley

A handful of locals and in-the-know tourists managed to avoid the Good Friday drinking ban, heading to theatres, racing stadiums and train stations for a drink.

Yesterday could be the last 'dry' Good Friday ever, with the Government set to lift the controversial drinking ban.

While most pubs, off-licences and venues were closed, a number of loopholes allowed punters to cheat the system.

Some hotels, racing stadiums, theatres, sports clubs and train stations are exempt from the religious tradition.

One pub that saw a huge turnout of punters yesterday was Madigan's in Connolly Station in Dublin.

According to manager Joe Hayes, the venue gets four times the business on Good Friday compared to any other day of the year.

The only catch is that you have to buy a train ticket to gain access.

"There's a good few people here who have bought train tickets, but have no intention whatsoever of boarding a train," he said.

"We're only allowed to stay open until the last train leaves at about 8pm, but we'll take advantage of the day anyway, especially since it could be the last before the ban is lifted."

A large crowd of British tourists who booked an Easter break away to Ireland said they were "gutted" when discovering the Good Friday tradition.

Lee Bowey (22), from London, said: "I could not believe it, we were absolutely gutted. All we want to do here is drink and go to bars, but thank God we discovered this place. It was like finding a needle in a haystack."

Martha Gilheaney (32), from Leitrim, told the Irish Independent that she will be sad to lose the tradition. "I'm not religious at all but I think it's a nice tradition. I'm only here because my train is delayed but it's nice to enjoy the atmosphere," she said.

Irish Independent

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