Minister for justice Frances Fitzgerald said today on RTE radio that there wouldn’t be any lifting of the prohibition on selling alcohol in Ireland on Good Friday this year. Yesterday the publicans of Ireland ran a campaign aimed at promoting public support for the repeal of the prohibition and to highlight why they see it as bad for the trade.
It had seemed that this would be the year that pubs would once again be allowed to open on Good Friday, given that there is a carnival atmosphere of celebration proposed to celebrate the 1916 rising this year. Year on year visitors to the city are stunned to see that one of Ireland’s biggest tourism draws, the pubs, are not open.
Like it or not, the pub is integral to the tourism trade and it brings in a lot of visitors to the city. There is a big push on for people to travel to Ireland and Dublin for the celebrations, so it seems quite bizarre that on the Friday we won’t be allowing people to socialise in a way that they could any other Friday of the year.
Surely the political will is there amongst the public to overturn the law, and there was hardly going to be much political backlash in the run up to this years general election as a result of such action.
Some bar staff may well be relieved to have another day off in the year, but the message is pretty unanimous from publicans that they want to open. Once again there will be a rush in off licenses the Thursday before and house parties will be doing a roaring trade.
Some pubs who serve food will remain open, but they are in the minority.
There were rumours last year that a few publicans might open as a protest, but that never materialised.
Our annual ’10 ways to buy drink on Good Friday’ will get another lease of life. Link.
— The Bridge 1859 (@TheBridge1859) January 21, 2016
— O’Donoghue’s Pub (@ODonoghues15) January 21, 2016
‘We’re extremely disappointed… we fail to understand why not’ Donal O’Keefe, Licensed Vintners Association reacts to @FitzgeraldFrncs
— Today Sean O’Rourke (@TodaySOR) January 21, 2016