Sunday 25 September 2016

Let the Good Friday alcohol ban be an inspiration to children

Published 23/01/2016 | 02:30

The ban on alcohol is a good thing. Photo: Getty
The ban on alcohol is a good thing. Photo: Getty

In recent days it has been claimed that the ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday is 'archaic' and 'discriminatory', and causes a loss of income to the pub trade - especially during the year ahead, when the 2016 Rising celebrations will be particularly intense around Easter.

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In reply to this we should ask why we have the ban on the sale of alcohol on that day in the first instance.

Good Friday is one of the most sacred days of the year. It is called 'good' because it is the day on which the Saviour was put to death for us, and opened for us the way to eternal life.

The ban is a mark of respect for the Lord and what He did for us, and helps us to make this sacrifice for Him - who sacrificed everything for us.

Some will object and say that this day is therefore only for Catholics and other Christians - and only for practicing ones at that.

Therefore they claim that the ban discriminates against those of other religions, or none.

If that is the case then, in order to be consistent, our society would have to get rid of the public celebration of all Christian feast days which affect the public calendar - Christmas, Easter, Saint Patrick's Day, Saint Valentine's Day, etc - since all of these days were established, and are still celebrated, as religious feast days.

They have no significance otherwise, even though they have been commandeered by commercialism to a great extent. Therefore, those opposed to a ban on the sale of alcohol in pubs and shops on Good Friday cannot have it both ways.

They cannot object to the ban on alcohol sales on Good Friday adversely affecting their trade, because at different occasions they greatly benefit from other religious feasts in terms of increased business.

I would further ask what kind of example are we setting to our young people if we, as a society, cannot do without alcohol on sale for this one day?

The problems associated with the abuse of alcohol are there for all to see - especially in terms of the health impact on the individual, the damage to family stability, and public order offences.

If Ireland can at least do without the sale of alcohol on Good Friday, we can show our young people that alcohol does not have to be an integral part of our national character and, just as importantly, that we can restrain ourselves for a higher goal, at least to some degree. What an example that would continue to be.

Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan

Bishop of Waterford & Lismore

Waterford Wise words from your elders

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What good advice was given by the people interviewed, who were all between the ages of 70 and 100 years old.

I myself always chose to be happy and always made sure to enjoy the simple things in life. Thanks, Sinéad.

Nan Ludden

Westport, Co.Mayo

Surgical precision from Leo

Could Leo Varadkar's attempts to fix the health service before going to the country be described as 'elective surgery'?

Jonh Williams

Clonmel

Some roads not 'vehicle worthy'

Your recently-published editorial comment 'Disrepair of Roads Could Have Stark Consequences' (Irish Independent, January 21) should get the deadly serious attention that it deserves.

Country roads are an absolute disgrace - even worse still since the havoc of the floods.

They are the cause of accidents, hazardous to drivers and pedestrians, wreck transport and are a deterrent to new industry coming here.

Car and transport-owners are obliged by law to keep their vehicles safe and properly maintained.

Likewise it is the responsibility of the Government and Local Councils, obliged to provide the roads, to ensure they are properly serviced.

A glaring example of their efforts is the fact that funding levels of €39.5m still remain - similar to that in 2000.

It's time tax-paying drivers demanded legally binding standards be put in place for all roads to comply with a 'vehicle worthiness' test every four years - similar to 'road-worthiness' tests for vehicles!

James Gleeson

Thurles, Co.Tipperary

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Both recognise the solidarity in adversity shown after calamitous defeats, and contribute to the national identity of Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.

Dr John Doherty

Co Dhún na nGall

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There is no doubt that the migration crisis has put unbearable burdens on European countries, stoking the embers of resentment and animosity towards mostly Muslims refugees.

However, the numbers of refugees who entered the whole European continent is equivalent to - if not less than - the numbers who have entered Syria's neighbouring countries, such as Jordan, with one very simple difference.

His Majesty King Abdullah II has pledged to keep Jordan's doors open to all refugees fleeing their poverty and war-stricken countries.

This occurred despite Jordan's meagre natural resources, and the impacts this huge influx of refugees had on the educational, security, economic, transport and health infrastructures. Jordan remains a bastion of ethnic, cultural and religious tolerance in a turbulent region.

The global community must do more to help Jordan in its hour of need - to maintain its status as an oasis of stability in the Middle East and as a credible and reliable ally in the global battle against terrorism.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London

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