The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said the ban of alcohol sales on Good Friday is unacceptable at a busy time for the tourism, restaurant and hospitality sector.
“This law affects more than just the diners who want a drink, it affects thousands of restaurant employees on a busy weekend when restaurants simply won’t open,” the association’s Chief Executive, Adrian Cummins. “It is unacceptable to have this archaic ban in place on religious grounds, especially in the multi-cultural and multi-religious society that Ireland has become.”
Mr Cummins added that, “Ireland must be the only country in the world that has a bank holiday weekend and actually chooses to close the tourist attractions it is best known for- the centres of craic and ceol- the restaurants and pubs of the country. Even the Vatican City doesn’t obey this ridiculous law.”
Licencing laws allow several greyhound stadiums to serve alcohol on Good Friday, and there are also exemptions which allow the sale of alcohol to passengers travelling by rail, air and sea. Licenced theatres, national cultural institutions and hotels can also serve alcohol on Good Friday, but only if ordered with a meal.
“These businesses are working the law and using it to their advantage; why shouldn’t restaurants?” Mr Cummins asked. “It’s tough for all businesses relying on customers to part with their well-earned cash on a long weekend. They cannot afford to open without serving alcohol, and they definitely cannot afford to close either.”