Publicans disappointed as Minister refuses to relax Good Friday alcohol ban

Publicans disappointed as Minister refuses to relax Good Friday alcohol ban

Groups representing publicans have said they are extremely disappointed with the decision not to permit licensed premises to serve alcohol on Good Friday.

"I won’t be doing it this year," Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told RTÉ radio today.

Publicans disappointed as Minister refuses to relax Good Friday alcohol ban

Chief executive of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe, said his members and members of the public will struggle to understand the rationale behind the Minister’s decision.

"This is a lost opportunity not just for publicans but for the capital city and the tourist sector as a whole," he said.

"This year there was a particular urgency around this issue given the Ireland 2016 celebrations would focus on the Easter weekend and that we have an international soccer friendly between Ireland and Switzerland taking place in the Aviva Stadium on Good Friday itself.

"Once again thousands of tourists and holiday goers are going to be at a loss wondering why they can’t go to a pub for a drink."

Padraig Cribben of the VFI said that according to the legal advice the law would only require a minor legislative change.

"The Minister has had ample time to repeal this archaic law," he said.

"Frankly it’s an embarrassment that this legislation is still in force in 2016.

"Both the VFI and the LVA have had a very positive reaction to our #AboutTime campaign and we were very hopeful that the Minister would finally move on this issue this year.

"Previously the Minister indicated that Good Friday trading would be permitted in the context of the Sale of Alcohol Bill and she has had plenty of time to advance that legislation.

"Most other retail businesses will be open and trading but once again the licensed trade will be closed.

"For a Government which claims to be pro business and seeking election it makes no sense."

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