For the first time since 1927, publicans and licence holders will open their doors on 30 March 2018.
The Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Act 2017 was passed in the Dáil yesterday and will be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins over the coming weeks. Publicans and liquor licence holders will now be able to serve alcohol legally on Good Friday.
This change has been greatly anticipated and welcomed by publicans and licence holders who campaigned for many years to have the ban lifted. It is believed that licensed premises are likely to enjoy an estimated 30% increase in revenue during Easter week.
The removal of the ban also allows licensed premises to trade during the full permitted hours, including late exemptions, on Holy Thursday night, essentially enabling late opening premises to profit from an increased time frame for sales of alcohol leading into the weekend.
Introducing the Bill, Minister of State David Stanton said that the historic laws “are no longer in tune with today’s Ireland”. He further stated that removing the ban on selling alcohol on Good Friday would greatly help Irish tourism.
The change, however, has not been welcomed by everyone. Campaigners against the change argue that the lifting of the ban hinders attempts to tackle the serious health problems of alcohol abuse and may encourage and promote overuse of the substance on the holy day.
The only day of the year where an alcohol ban remains is Christmas Day, which begs the question, will this be next?