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State should not be enforcing religion

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford, Alphonsus Cullinan, wants the State to continue to enforce his church ideals by retaining the ban on pub opening on the day generally known as Good Friday (Letters, January 25).

A visit to any supermarket or off-licence the day before Good Friday will show him that, far from enforcing abstinence for the day, the ban encourages trolley loads of booze that make the Christmas stock-up look positively abstemious and make it the best day of the year for off-licence sales.

Good Friday and other holidays may be sacred to the bishop and other believers but the State should have no function in enforcing religious rules of any kind.

There are a multitude of beliefs and non-beliefs and the only really workable position for the State to take is one of neutrality on the subject.

If the bishop has faith in his faithful, surely he only has to encourage them to, as he puts it, “restrain ourselves for a higher goal”.

There is a place for everyone — provided we live and let live.

Ronan Quinlan

Bóthar tSlí Leathan

Baile Átha Cliath 15


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