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Dublin: 12°C Friday 18 September 2020
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Watch: Bemusement the order of the day as Dublin tourists realise all the pubs are shut

“I think it’s an honourable thing – but I am a little disappointed. I’m looking through all the windows feeling a little … dry?”

Updated at 10pm

DUBLIN CITY CENTRE was an odd place to be this afternoon.

Busy – but at the same time, strangely peaceful.

By 3 o’clock or so – on an average Friday – it wouldn’t be unusual to find the pubs already filling up with tourists, ready to start their evening after a busy day’s sightseeing.

Today, of course, it’s Good Friday. Therefore – for the casual drinker – it’s pretty difficult to get your hands on a pint of the black stuff (or the pale yellow stuff. Or, you know, anything stronger than a rock shandy).

At The Temple Bar – normally a mecca for US and European tourists on any day of the week – there was a steady stream of would-be patrons strolling purposefully up to the door, pausing to read the ‘closed’ sign, and then gazing around hopefully at other (also shuttered) establishments.

law Source: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

For some, news of the tradition came as a bit of a shock.

Quite how much of a shock – it’s difficult to know. There was a language barrier to deal with.

We tried, of course, to overcome that communication gap by speaking very loudly and pointing at things – but with limited success.

“What – no, really?” a teenage French girl – nominated by her poor bewildered parents to speak to TheJournal.ie - responds. (The mother, in particular, looks crestfallen to hear that all the pubs will be closed, and wanders off to ask a guard).

Another young woman – from Germany – said that while her mother was fine with it, her dad was pretty livid.

He says no – its not so good. He wants to dance.

IMG_0465 A strangely peaceful Temple Bar. 3pm, Good Friday. Source: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

Perhaps talking to Americans, we surmised, would be less stressful for all concerned.

A couple from New York state knew what they were in for.

“I think it’s an honourable thing – but I am a little disappointed. I’m looking through all the windows feeling a little … dry?”

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Another family were – to say the least – bemused at the state-of-affairs.

“We’re Catholic – but it would be nice to be able to make your own decision about it.”

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Over near Merchant’s Arch, a group of friends from Spain and Italy admitted they were a little disappointed they couldn’t have a glass of beer with their meal, as they set off to find somewhere to try some “proper, traditional Irish food”.

They had known about the ban, they said, but they had wanted to head out tonight to find “some fun” and try the local brew.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Finally, at Dublin Castle a couple from England – Chris and Christine – said they didn’t mind so much. They had, however, already taken part in one of the great Irish Easter traditions: the rush to buy beer before the off-licences shut, of a Holy Thursday.

“We saw everybody else emptying the shelves at Tescos and joined in.

“There was a bit of a scrum too. There was even breakages on the floor.”

Despite last night’s impulse buy, they were enjoying a quiet day in town.

We are quite interested in the city’s history – so it’s nice to have a look at the architecture and at everything else that’s going on.

Read: 11 places open for delicious food around Ireland today

Read: Good Friday booze bans show a “19th-century image of Ireland to tourists”

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