Sunday 23 April 2017

You can have a pint today -- if you know where to look

Colin Gleeson

IT'S the day when Irish people all over the country try to beat the system.

The 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act enshrined in law that alcoholic drink could not be sold on Christmas Day, Good Friday or St Patrick's Day.

And while the law relating to St Patrick's Day was repealed in 1960, the ban on a jar during Good Friday and Christmas Day has stood the test of time.

But while there will be no alcohol on sale in restaurants, supermarkets or pubs outside Limerick today -- there are several ways to escape the clutches of the law.

Having a drink while on trains, in the air, or on water are some popular options.

You can fly return from Dublin to Cork or Kerry with Ryanair today and alcohol will still be served aboard.

Spokesman Stephen McNamara said: "Since we launched our first domestic route back in 2005, Good Friday has always been a day that encourages domestic air travel, as passengers toast the Easter weekend with a few drinks in the air."

He added that alcohol sales on Good Friday flights have traditionally increased by 75pc over normal Fridays.

Those travelling to Limerick by rail for the big game in Thomond Park can also enjoy a beer -- as Iarnrod Eireann offers a full bar on all scheduled intercity trains. They can also have a pint at the Galway Hooker pub at Dublin's Heuston Station, as long as they can produce a rail ticket worth at least €13 at the bar.

Border

Another option is to make the journey to Belfast or Newry, as pubs in the North will serve alcohol between 5pm and 11pm.

Federation of the Retail Licensing Trade Northern Ireland CEO Colin Neill said the pubs always see more customers on Good Friday.

"Those around the Border region do particularly well as people flock across from the Republic to get a drink," he said.

On the Grand Canal in Dublin, diners can also have a drink at La Peniche barge restaurant, which bills itself as "Dublin's premium party-boat".

Alternatively, if you are resident at a hotel, you can have a drink as long as it's consumed with a meal in the hotel.

In addition, people can be sold pints while attending a licensed theatre, the National Concert Hall or a national cultural institution.

Those attending a race meeting or a greyhound trial can buy alcohol. It can also be sold in a military canteen, while a private club can be provided with authorisation to sell alcohol for six hours.

In Limerick, certain areas are covered by an exemption to the act for the rugby clash.

Premises in the city borough area of the county, and adjoining built-up areas, can serve alcoholic drink.

They are Raheen, Dooradoyle, Corbally, Castletroy and Annacotty. The exemption is only valid from 6.00pm to 11.30pm.

Other pubs across the country closed last night from 11.30pm and are not permitted to re-open until 10.30am tomorrow morning unless they are only selling food or non-alcoholic beverages.

Irish Independent

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