Tradition still wins on Good Friday

Stations at St Brendan’s church on Good Friday
Stations at St Brendan’s church on Good Friday

James Duggan

WITH the excitement of Easter fading away for another year, one is left wondering if its traditions are doing the same.

With the continuing debate regarding the relevance of the "no meat or alcohol on Good Friday" tradition in today's world, some of Tralee's businesses told The Kerryman how the religious holiday impacts on their business.

"In comparison to a normal day, Good Friday would traditionally be quieter. We would generally view the day as an opportunity to prepare for what is always a very busy Easter weekend", Matt Leahy of Maguire's Master Butchers said.

"Overall, sales of meat would be about 30 per cent down, but we'd more than make up for it over the weekend.

"People obviously still try to stick with the tradition as much as they can", Mr Leahy said.

Elsewhere, a spokesperson for Tralee's Grand Hotel said that they put meat on their menus for Good Friday, simply because they have to please their customers.

"Restaurant sales are as strong as every other day, but we would sell more fish rather than meat. At the end of the day, we have to give our customers what they want, whether it be meat or fish", the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Quinlan's Fish Shop in Tralee was exceptionally busy on Good Friday, indicating that although the 'no-meat' tradition may not be as prominent as it once was, it is by no means dead.

Regarding the sale of alcohol on Good Friday, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has branded the law as 'outdated' and 'archaic', saying that it is unacceptable to ban the sale of alcohol at such a busy time for tourism and the hospitality industry.

They have also vented their frustration at several Greyhound Stadiums, including Tralee's, being allowed to serve alcohol on Good Friday, claiming that restaurants should also be allowed to do so.