First time in 90 years: Ir­ish pubs open on Good Fri­day

Daily Mail - - Confidential - Mail For­eign Ser­vice

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’.

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