Pubs expect boom on historic Good Friday

Publican Irial Slattery. Photo: Mark Condren

Deirdre Reynolds

Good Friday looks likely to live up to its name as pubs prepare to open for business - with some donating takings to charity.

Slattery's in Beggars Bush is just one of the pubs across the country which will open its doors for the first time today following changes to Intoxicating Liquor Act earlier this year.

Although he admitted he'd rather be spending time with his four-year-old daughter, publican Irial Slattery said at least staff would be sacrificing the day off in aid of worthy causes including Our Lady's Hospice in Harold's Cross and Blackrock.

"We were trying to look for an angle to have a bit of fun [at] the fact that it's the end of prohibition," he told. "We thought with it being Good Friday, let's just give the day's takings away.

"There's one part of me that says: 'I hope we're not absolutely jammed because we'll be giving away a lot of money'," joked the owner.

More than nine decades after the ban was first implemented in 1927, pubs, restaurants and supermarkets were preparing for the day of trading.

In the Liberties, up to 350 tourists are expected at Teeling Whiskey Distillery, forcing boss Jack Teeling to rethink the rota. "We're probably overmanned because we're expecting a good few through the doors," he said.

Meanwhile, visitors to the North Meath village of Drumconrath may find it more challenging to get a pint after the only three publicans there made a pact to uphold tradition by remaining shut.

"Rural Ireland is different than Dublin," argued proprietor of Muldoon's Bar Dermot Muldoon. "It's a long weekend. There's Saturday night, Sunday night, Bank Holiday Monday - it's the same pockets you're emptying in a village like this. In Dublin, there are different people every night.

"It's just shutting down for that day like we always did for 30 years."