Pubs in Meath village to close on Good Friday to mark 'long standing tradition'

Pubs in a Meath village have agreed to stay closed on Good Friday for the second year to mark a 'long-standing tradition'.

Pubs in Meath village to close on Good Friday to mark 'long standing tradition'

Pubs in a Meath village have agreed to stay closed on Good Friday for the second year to mark a 'long-standing tradition'.

The three pubs in Drumconrath will remain shut again this Friday and ignore the legislation which allowed all publicans to legally serve alcohol last year for the first time in 90 years.

Last year's opening on the religious festival was hailed as a huge success by customers and the majority of vintners.

But not so in Drumconrath, where publicans Dermot Muldoon, Pauline Fay and Pat Dempsey to continue the time-old tradition and keep a lid on their alcohol

They have not changed their minds this year and say are sticking to closing up every Good Friday.

"Publicans get two days off in the whole year, just two, so we decided to keep that holiday as well as keeping up the tradition and having a bit of respect for our religion," said Dermot.

"Last year we got a lot of support from our customers - the majority of who would observe fasting on the day and staying off the drink anyway.

We said it last year that we would close and nothing has changed. What's wrong with a day off. It was a tradition among publicans here to spend the day with their own families.

It was something different about Ireland that we were known for and that's all gone now.

"I used to always go up to Crossmaglen with my father and have something to eat and a chat with people so I'll still go up there on Friday and do the same with my children.

"I might even have a drink up there - it's the novelty factor of having a drink on the other side of the counter on a day you normally couldn't have one."

He added that anyone that wanted a venue to have a pint could easily go to pubs in nearby Kingscourt or Ardee which are about 10 kilometres away.

Pauline Fay of Fay's Bar said the day enables bar owners to completely switch off and spend the day with family.

"Quality of life has no price. I always spent the day with my children and continue to do so. We're not opening because someone in Dublin says so.

"When you lose a tradition, you lose it for life.

"This year again, myself and my daughter will do the stations of the cross before doing a bit of shopping together. I don't think a bit of religion does anyone any harm.

"I've received 100% backing from my customers, some of whom have said that even if I was open, they wouldn't come in," she concluded.

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