We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Barbara Walsh Photography

Good Friday booze bans show a "19th-century image of Ireland to tourists"

The rules have been panned as “archaic” in today’s multicultural Ireland.

THE RESTAURANTS LOBBY claims Ireland’s Good Friday alcohol bans hurt the country’s image abroad – as well as harming its industry.

Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins said it was “archaic” to have the restrictions in place on religious grounds in the “multi-cultural and multi-religious society that Ireland has become”.

“This law affects more than just the diners who want a drink, it affects thousands of restaurant employees on a busy weekend when restaurants simply won’t open,” he said.

Aside from the law showing a 19th-century image of Ireland to incoming tourists, many restaurants decide to close their doors on Good Friday.”

According to the last census, just over 84% of Irish people still defined themselves as Roman Catholic – although this figure had dropped from 87% five years earlier.

Meanwhile several other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, have some restrictions on the sale of alcohol at certain times of the day or to those not eating in pubs or restaurants.

But Cummins said Ireland had to be the only country which chose to close some of its best-known tourist attractions – pubs and restaurants – on a bank holiday weekend.

Pictured here is (l-r): Adr Adrian Cummins, left, from the Restaurants Association of Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Good Friday restrictions include some exemptions for those travelling on planes, trains and ferries, people attending certain events, theatres and hotel guests – as long as they are only given alcohol with a meal.

Some 58% of the respondents to today’s poll (so far) said they didn’t agree with banning alcohol on Good Friday.

READ: Should pubs be open today? The people of Meath Street have some (very) strong opinions >

READ: No drink? No problem – here are some Good Friday events for all >

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.