Wednesday 19 September 2018

Pubs to open on Good Friday almost 100 years after ban was introduced

  • Pubs will now open and serve alcohol on Good Friday
  • Bill will now go to the Áras to be signed into law by President Higgins
  • Ban has been in place since 1927
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Stock picture
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Pubs will be open and serving alcohol on Good Friday after a vote to remove the so-called 'booze ban'.

Legislation passed in the Dáil this afternoon will amend the Intoxicating Liquor Act and end the ban on the sale of alcohol.

Having already passed in the Seanad the Bill will now go to the Aras to be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

The ban will be lifted before Good Friday which falls on March 30.

The ban has been in place in Ireland since 1927 and the Dáil heard today that removing it would benefit tourism.

Minister of State David Stanton said the "restrictions of the type that we are repealing in this Bill are no longer in tune with today’s Ireland".

Donal O'Keeffe of the Licensed Vintners Association
Donal O'Keeffe of the Licensed Vintners Association

He said the lifting of the ban would boost Irish tourism.

"Tourism makes a much greater contribution to our economy and this is particularly true during holidays, such as the busy Easter period," he said.

The bill - first introduced by Senator Billy Lawless -  "simply amends the rules to allow for the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor on Good Friday in a consistent, non-discriminatory and comprehensive manner", Minister Stanton said.

Donal O'Keeffe of the Licensed Vintners' Association told Today FM's Last Word programme that they are delighted Good Friday will now be treated as a "regular Friday".

"It's worth about... it was about a €30m last turnover nationally on Good Friday alone," Mr O'Keeffe told Matt Cooper.

"It's an important day on a number of levels, Friday is a significant trading day.

"It's also a Friday heading into a Bank Holiday, and Dublin has a significant amount of tourists.

"Being open is very important. We also have had the ridiculous situation in Dublin of tourists wandering around, oblivious to the fact that the pubs would be shut.

"Holy Thursday was always a good night in the trade, but our objective was that Good Friday would be treated as a regular Friday.

"Friday being an important trade day, we just wanted it to be open. We're not forcing people into our pubs, we just want to be open."

Mr O'Keeffe added that there are no calls for pubs to now open on Christmas Day, saying it was a "special day for families".

"There are no calls from anyone in the license trade to look to do that," he added.

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