Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted today after 90 years

Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted today after 90 years

THE HISTORIC Good Friday ban on the sale of alcohol in Ireland could be coming to an end today.

The Dail is scheduled to debate the final stages of the bill that would remove the 90-year prohibition this afternoon.

If it passes, it would mean that pubs all over Ireland could open on Good Friday from this year.

The ban has been in existence in Ireland for the last 90 years. It was first introduced in 1927 as part of a broader legislative act that also prohibited the sale of alcohol on Christmas Day and St Patrick’s Day.

The ban was largely influenced by the Catholic Church, which sought to institute an atmosphere of solemnity on the aforementioned holidays.

In 1960, the St Patrick’s Day prohibition was repealed due to growing commercial pressure.

Over the years, only those who happen to be on a train, on a boat, in the theatre or staying in a hotel in Ireland have been able to buy alcohol on Good Friday.

All of that could be a thing of the past if the bill passes this afternoon.

Donal O’ Keefe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, sees the lifting of the ban as being long overdue.

"We've been campaigning for several years now to have this amended - we think the law banning the sale of alcohol on Good Friday is completely out of date.

"There's huge public support for it, there's huge public demand for it, and it'd be a terrific day for the pubs of Ireland if the ban is overturned and pubs are allowed to open this coming Good Friday".