herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Pub at train station is just the ticket to beat Good Friday ban

Martha Gilheaney at Madigan’s
Martha Gilheaney at Madigan’s

As usual, many Dubliners and tourists avoided the Good Friday drinking ban, revelling in the few spots around the capital allowed to serve alcohol.

This year is possibly the last such Good Friday, with the Government set to lift the controversial drinking ban from next year.

While most pubs, off-licences and venues were closed to the public, a number of loopholes allowed thirsty punters to get their hands on a pint.

Some hotels, race stadiums, theatres, sports clubs and train stations are exempt from the religious tradition.

One such pub was Madigan's in Connolly Station. According to manager Joe Hayes, the venue gets four times the business on Good Friday compared to any other day of the year.

The only catch is that patrons have to buy a train ticket with a journey distance of 40km or more to gain access.

"There's a good few people here who have bought train tickets, but have no intention whatsoever of boarding a train," Mr Hayes said.

"We're only allowed to stay open until the last train leaves at about 8pm, but we'll take advantage of the day anyway, especially since it could be the last."

Gutted

A group of British tourists, who booked an Easter break in Ireland, told the Herald they were "gutted" to find out about the Good Friday drinking ban.

"I could not believe it, we were absolutely gutted. All we want to do here is drink and go to bars, but thank God we discovered this place. It was like finding a needle in a haystack," said Lee Bowey (22), from London.

Martha Gilheaney (32), from Co Leitrim, will be sad to lose the tradition. "I'm not religious at all but I think it's a nice tradition. It's nice to have at least one day off a year that we don't serve alcohol," she said.

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