First time in 90 years: Irish pubs open on Good Friday
PUBS in Ireland opened on Good Friday for the first time in nearly a century yesterday after a law banning alcohol sales on the holiday was lifted.
The Intoxicating Liquor Act 1927 made it illegal to sell alcohol in shops, pubs and bars on Good Friday, Christmas Day and St Patrick’s Day – although the latter was exempted in 1960.
The ban was repealed in January, with pubs now allowed to open between 10.30am and 12.30am and shops also permitted to sell alcohol.
Before the change in the law, people would stock up on alcohol in shops the day before and buy train and ferry tickets to take advantage of exemptions for public transport.
The repeal, which followed extensive lobbying by industry bodies claiming it would boost tourism, underlines the fading influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland predicted Good Friday would generate £35million in sales for Irish pubs.
The country’s justice and equality minister David Stanton said when he introduced the law that increased diversity and changing demographics had led to a ‘reduction in traditional religious practice’.