"It's a tradition" - All three pubs in Co Meath village to stay closed on Good Friday

The alcohol ban has been lifted, but the publicans in Drumconrath have agreed to not open their doors

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File photo. Image: Philip Toscano / PA Archive/Press Association Images

All three pubs in a Co Meath village have agreed to stay closed on Good Friday, despite the lifting of the alcohol ban.

Not every pub will open, however - with the bars in Newmarket, Co Cork among those set to remain closed.

The publicans in Drumconrath have also decided to ignore the legislation, which allows pubs serve alcohol on the holy day for the first time in 90 years.

Dermot Muldoon, owner of Muldoon's Bar in the town, says Good Friday is a 'very special day' in Drumconrath.

He told Pat Kenny: "The change didn't suit us at all - we weren't really for it at all."

Dermot said the idea to close the pubs arose during a conversation with the local parish priest, and the three publicans then came to the decision to stay closed as usual.

He explained: "When the pub's closed... you'd head off for the day with your family, when they were kids of course.

"[You'd] have a day out, maybe go to some of the sights around Dublin... you can earmark things for that day, basically, because you are closed... And we get cleaners in on that day too, to clean the place top-to-bottom."

Dermot explained to Pat that it's more tradition than religious belief.

He observed: "It was always a special day. At 3 o'clock we have the prayers at the stations of the cross. There's a certain air around the village - a nice peaceful air. It's very special, basically.

"[When the pubs close] that's it - the whole place is shut down."

However, he did point out the village butcher remains busy on Good Friday - while many still don't eat meat on the day itself, plenty of people use the day to pick up the spring lamb ahead of Easter Sunday dinner.

On the subject of the pubs closing, Dermot's mother Kaye added: "It's a tradition here we always look forward to. There's two days we get off - one is Christmas Day, and the other is Good Friday.

"It has been like that since I came here 55 years ago, and probably long before it."