Dry Days

After a 91-year-old ‘ban’ on drinking in pubs on this particular day, the Good Friday tradition was lifted after legislation in the Dail passed in January.

The Intoxicating Liqour Bill, which passed on the 25th of January of this year, will have a profound impact on pubs all over Ireland. With this new legislation, publican owners all over the country will be able to gain more income. Paul Farrell, owner of the Furry Bog and the Chapel Bar explained, “I am glad it’s gone, but we’ve always been open.” He continued saying that owning three pubs can be difficult when you have to pay all the bills and just one day off can make a difference in income. “It was bad for may lose up to €5,000”.

A local barman working in the Liberty Belle had a similar reaction. “The side door has always been open on Good Friday, I used to have two days off a year and now it’s only one.” He gave a simple explanation for opening on Good Friday, “If you don’t want a drink, you don’t have to come, and the same goes for the other way around”.

Off licences were the only way that people could get alcohol coming up to Good Friday, and now they may lose a lot of  business, “Poor off licenses will be suffering”. The bill will come into power on the 30th of March 2018, which is just in time for Good Friday. He continued saying “It’s like nuclear fallout, people don’t seem to realise that the pubs are open the next day.” One criticism he gave was that “the Dail bar was open on Christmas and Good Friday, so why couldn’t local pubs?”

Representative groups for publicans such as the Licenses Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have been campaigning for the Good Friday to be lifted for years, and it’s come to pass. According to a joint press release,, Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA, said the decision to allow the sale of alcohol on Good Friday was well overdue.
“Removing the ban is simple common sense,” said Mr O’Keeffe. “The large number of tourists visiting Ireland at Easter were confused by a law that made Ireland appear out of touch with the with the rest of our European neighbours.

“The extra day’s trade at such a busy time of year will be a welcome boost. This change is a win for our customers, our tourists, our suppliers and the wider hospitality sector,” he added.

“The fact the Bill received all-party support illustrates there is little opposition to Good Friday trading, as has always been the case for retailers in other sectors.”

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