Pubs to be allowed open on Good Friday after Dáil approves bill to lift alcohol ban

It's expected to be signed into law by the President before Good Friday this year

Pubs to be allowed open on Good Friday after Dáil approves bill to lift alcohol ban

Photo: RollingNews.ie/ Guinness

Pubs will be able to open on Good Friday after a bill lifting the restriction was approved by the Dáil this afternoon.

The Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 is now due to be signed into law by President Higgins before Easter this year.

It will mean that alcohol can be sold this Good Friday for the first time in more than 90 years.

Speaking about the bill in the Dáil this afternoon, Minister of State David Stanton explained: "It has been drafted to ensure that the removal of the restriction applies not only to public houses and off-licences, but also to hotels, holiday camps, registered clubs and restaurants.

"The bill will provide for the comprehensive and consistent application of licencing law on Good Friday."

He added: "The Government believes that the time is right to end the restrictions on the sale of intoxicating liquor on good Friday. We live in a much different society than we did when the restrictions were put in place."

Proponents of the bill - which was introduced by Independent Senator Billy Lawless - have suggested that lifting the alcohol ban on Good Friday will benefit tourism & businesses, as well as helping discourage binge drinking.

Minister Stanton also noted that the Government's Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is due to be considered by the Dáil in February.

That legislation includes measures such as minimum pricing, health warnings on labels, and restrictions on how alcohol is displayed in shops.