The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has renewed its call for the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Fridays, unveiling its #AboutTime campaign.
In a statement released on Good Friday, the 90th anniversary of the implementation of the law made by the Intoxcating Liquor Act 1927, the representative body for Dublin pubs asked for 2016 to be the last 'Long Good Friday'.
In the statement, the LVA cited a survey carried out by MyHome.ie in which, out of 1,7000 people surveyed, almost 60 per cent said they would be in favour of permitting the sale of alcohol on Good Friday.
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Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA, said it was a bad way to kick off an eventful bank holiday weekend. “Frankly it’s embarrassing that this law is still in force, especially given there is an international soccer match taking place this Good Friday against Switzerland and the celebrations to mark Ireland 2016 are focused on this weekend."
“Every Good Friday we have thousands of tourists and visitors to our capital wandering around asking why they can’t go into a pub for a drink. The fact that alcohol will be served inside the Aviva Stadium but that all the pubs in the country will be closed shows how ridiculous the law is."
"Outdated laws like this actually make a mockery of our entire licensing system” added O'Keeffe. “We should be saying to people come in, you’re very welcome, we are open for business. Instead on one of the busiest weekend of the year we’re closed because of a law passed in 1927. That’s hardly the mark of a modern, European, multicultural democracy."
The prohibition of the selling of alcohol on Good Friday was first introduced in 1927 along with Christmas and St. Patrick's Day. The latter was repealed in 1960. Since its implementation, the law has been given exemption only once, in 2010, when bars in Limerick were permitted to sell for one day; the day of a a Celtic League rugby union match between Munster and Leinster at Thomond Park.
Pictured (L - R): Deirdre Devitt, owner of the Two Sisters pub; Donal O'Keeffe, LVA CEO, publican Charlie Chawke and Oliver Hughes, founder of Porterhouse Brewing.