Publicans call for Good Friday serving ban to be lifted

Publicans are calling for the ban on serving alcohol on Good Friday to be lifted.

They say the laws are archaic and discriminatory, and cause a huge loss of revenue each year.

It is estimated the ban costs the exchequer €6m in taxes and excise each Good Friday.

Padraig Cribben, CEO of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, says the law needs to be changed in time for Easter.

"It's not that alcohol is not consumed on Good Friday, it is because there is a lot of house parties etc.

"There is a need to change a law which is almost 100 years old to allow pubs to trade normally on Good Friday, we seem to be exceptional in this respect."

Speaking at the launch of the #AboutTime campaign, Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA said the rationale for a change to the law was compelling.

“There is no case for the licensed trade to be treated differently to other retail businesses. Easter is a huge tourism weekend right across the country. Forcing pubs and all licensed hospitality businesses to close sends a very negative signal to tourists and visitors who are left baffled and disappointed by the measure.”

Padraig Cribben added that the laws are archaic, and it's time to change them.

"The fact that pubs are open doesn't mean that people have to go into them, it's a matter of choice.

"For a lot of people it is not really one of religious conviction and it's really about giving people the choice and if people have the choice they can decide to go in or not to go in - that's all we're asking for."

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