Party calls for public holiday to compensate bar workers as Good Friday alcohol ban lifted

New legislation, which looks set to be introduced in 2018, means pubs will remain open on Good Friday

Party calls for public holiday to compensate bar workers as Good Friday alcohol ban lifted

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The Workers’ Party has proposed a new public holiday to compensate bar and off licence workers for the proposed end to the Good Friday alcohol ban. 

Councillor Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party) said that while the Party welcomed any expansion of secularism in Ireland, the impact of a lifting of the Good Friday ban could be negative for workers in bars and off licences.

“The Workers' Party wants a truly secular republic, and this includes getting rid of the historic influence of the catholic church on our licensing laws. However, we must ensure that this does not lead to lower holiday entitlements for workers," she said.

The councillor said that a new public holiday should be instated in place of the Good Friday ban, concluding:

“Ireland has one of the lowest number of public holidays in the country. A new public holiday should be introduced which would ensure all workers receive either a day off, or proper compensation for working that day, if and when the Good Friday ban is lifted.

“Secularising our country should not come at the expense of workers’ pockets.”

New legislation

The Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 proposed by the Seanad, is aimed mainly at pubs and will come before the Upper House next week.

The new legislation is expected to supply "streamlined and updated provisions more suited to modern conditions," around alcohol. 

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald is expected not to oppose a Bill in the Seanad calling for the restriction to be abolished, with the change likely to come into effect for Good Friday next year in 2018.

It's expected that the Government will then incorporate the proposals of the Bill, tabled by a group of Independent Senators, into the Government's Sale of Alcohol Bill which aims to reform the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol.