THE DAYS of pubs closing on Good Friday look set to be coming to an end, after the Dáil passed legislation this afternoon to lift the ban on selling alcohol.
Hailed locally as “a very progressive move”, the amendment to the Intoxicating Liquor Act was passed in the chamber this afternoon and will be signed into law by the President in time for this Good Friday, on March 30.
National secretary of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, Limerick publican Jerry O’Dea, said that he “entirely welcomes this decision”.
“Regardless of one’s personal opinions, we are now such a multicultural island and we welcome so many visitors over that weekend, that it was confusing to everybody that the pubs would be closed,” said Mr O’Dea.
“We’ve all heard the anecdotal evidence of tourists knocking on the windows of pubs on Good Friday, not really realising what’s going on.
“So whilst respecting the opinions of all people and all denominations, I think it’s a very progressive move,” added the Mulgrave Street publican.
“At the last annual vintners conference, over 85 or 90 percent of the attendees and voters decided that we should press for this to happen.”
The ban has been in place since 1927, but exceptions have been made in the past.
Limerick publicans were famously allowed to open their doors on Good Friday in 2010, because of a clash between Munster and Leinster in Thomond Park.
The loss of trade that would have occurred, had the pubs not been open on such a big match day, was proven a good enough reason to bend the rules for a day - so Limerick publicans were granted a special exception by Judge Tom O’Donnell.