Senators fighting to end Good Friday alcohol ban

Senators are fighting to end the “outdated” law that bans pubs from serving alcohol on Good Friday.

Independent senator Billy Lawless has introduced a bill in the Seanad to allow bars sell alcohol on Good Friday.

It comes as publicans launched the #AboutTime campaign to put pressure on the Government to amend licensing laws to allow all licensed premises trade normally on Good Friday, which is on April 14.

Arguing for the opening of bars on Good Friday, Mr Lawless said the Irish pub is “an intrinsic part of our hugely successful tourism offering, and a major employer in the economy”. 

He said business will suffer on one of the busiest weekends of the year as a result of the ban: “As a modern European nation we have outgrown this dated practice, and I hold this view as a citizen and Oireachtas representative, who respects all traditions and faiths.”

Mr Lawless yesterday introduced the Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was co-sponsored by senators Victor Boyhan, Michael McDowell and Gerard Craughwell.

Mr Lawless added: “We have witnessed and lived through many changes in Ireland, from the abolition of holy hour through to the passing of the marriage equality referendum and it is now time to amend the liquor licencing legislation in a similar progressive vein.”

Last year, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald ruled out lifting the ban, but said it would be something she would consider in the future.

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