Good Friday Alcohol Ban? Yay or Nay?

An overall majority of people in The Liberties believe that the ban of alcohol on Good Friday should be lifted.

The topic of conversation: alcohol. Courtesy of the Trinity Bar on Dame Street.

The topic of conversation: alcohol.  Photo Courtesy of Louise Casey in the Trinity Bar on Dame Street.


Certain reasons for this include that religion is dying out in Ireland and that it is a pointless ban as people stock up on alcohol on Holy Thursday.

Bridget Duke, in her fifties and originally from Drimnagh, stated: “I agree with it being lifted. It’s one day, we’re not all Catholics. If you want to go for a drink, go for a drink. If you want to go to the stations, go to the stations. We should have the option”.

In response to this, Father Christopher Clarke of St Teresa’s Church on Clarendon Street acknowledged that although religion is dying out lately in Ireland, he still regards Good Friday as an important day in the Catholic Church’s calendar.

He said: “There’s no doubt about the fact that our culture has become secularised. From a religious point of view, Good Friday is a very important day in our calendar”.

The rule prohibiting the sale of alcohol came into effect in the 1924 Intoxicating Liquor (General) Act, a version of which is still used today.

Traditionally in the Catholic religion, Good Friday is seen as a holy day as it is the day that Jesus was crucified.

An increase in tourism is evident around Good Friday and Easter, and the fact that the pubs are shut is seen to be shocking to those abroad.

Kevin O’ Mahony, a twenty-six year old man from Clontarf said: “It’s about time that they did get rid of the old archaic law (the ban). A lot of tourists come to Ireland around Easter time and they are really quite shocked when they do realise that you can’t enjoy a drink on Good Friday. I think it’s ridiculous.”

“I was in Italy recently and even though Italy would be regarded as a fairly Catholic country, a guy over there couldn’t believe that we shut the pubs and off-licenses on Good Friday because it’s not something they would ever think of doing”.

It was pointed out in many interviews that the only business making profits from the ban of alcohol on Good Friday are off-licenses as people stock up on alcohol on Holy Thursday.

Ger Connick, in her fifties from Cabra said: “I think the off-licenses are the only ones making an absolute bomb on Holy Thursday night. All you can see is arms and arms (of alcohol)”.

To make a point on how the Good Friday ban affects pubs in The Liberties, Séan McKiern, Director of Arthur’s Pub on Thomas Street, mentioned that his pub sees the ban as a “bit of a nuisance”.

“Friday is our busiest day of the week. It (the ban of alcohol) is a bit of a nuisance. We would lose a certain amount of money”.

When it was put to interviewees whether we as a nation have an issue with alcohol, everyone agreed that we do.

Kevin said: “We have a serious, serious problem with alcohol abuse. I think we go overboard with alcohol and laws like that (The Good Friday ban) don’t help because it encourages people to binge-buy and then binge-consume what they buy”.


By Leanne Salmon

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