Good Friday alcohol ban could be lifted today

The Dáil is due to debate the final stages of the bill

Good Friday alcohol ban could be lifted today

File photo. Picture by: Clara Molden/PA Archive/PA Images

The ban on opening pubs on Good Friday could come to an end today.

The Dáil is due to debate the final stages of the bill that would remove the 90-year prohibition.

It would mean pubs could open on Good Friday from this year if it is passed.

Donal O'Keeffe is chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association.

He says lifting the ban is long overdue.

"We've been campaigning for several years now to have this amended - we think the law banning sale of alcohol on Good Friday is completely out of date.

"There's huge public support for it, there's huge public demand for it, and it'd be a terrific day for the pubs of Ireland if the ban is overturned and pubs are allowed to open this coming Good Friday".

Since the ban was introduced in 1927, many publicans have voiced their frustrations over the restriction and have called for it to be removed.

The Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 was passed unanimously in the Seanad back in 2017, after the Government made amendments to make sure the new law applies to pubs and not just hotels.

Independent Senator Billy Lawless is behind the bill.

Speaking back in 2017, he suggested the ban contributes to binge drinking.

"Currently an 18-year-old with €10 can buy 10 cans of beer on Holy Thursday to keep for the next day, but cannot walk into a pub [where they] might only buy two to three pints for the same money.

"Removing this 90-year-old [law] from our statute books sends another clear message that Ireland is a pluralist, global and forward-thinking country."

Senator Lawless added: "The passing of this Bill is another progressive step in Ireland’s long journey of separation between Church and State."