The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have launched their annual 'About Time' campaign, calling on the 90-year-old Good Friday alcohol ban to be lifted.
Their campaign described the current law as "archaic and discriminatory" and are calling on the addition of what they say is a simple piece of legislation, that they've already drafted, which would allow publicans to open on that day. The two representative bodies hope it will be introduced before Easter 2017, reports the Irish Times.
"Easter is a huge tourism weekend right across the country. Forcing pubs and all licensed hospitality businesses to close sends a very negative signal to tourists and visitors who are left baffled and disappointed by the measure," said LVA chief executive Donall O’Keeffe.
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Chief executive of the VFI, Padraig Cribben commented: "Friday itself is a very important trading day — for many publicans it accounts for 30 per cent of their weekly business — and this is especially true of bank holiday weekends."
Professor Anthony Foley of DCU conducted a study which estimated that the Good Friday pub closure costs publicans €30 million across the state and results in €6 million excise lost to the Exchequer.
The campaign also referred to the Ireland vs Switzerland match held on Good Friday last year which allowed the 35,000 in attendance to consume alcohol at Aviva Stadium but not in any of the nearby pubs.