herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Publican blasts Good Friday law as tourists bemused at closed pubs

The owner of one of the country's most popular tourist pubs has described the Good Friday alcohol ban as "embarrassing".

Temple Bar was heaving with tourists yesterday, but no pubs in the city were open for them.

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"I would nearly open and give drinks for free today because I find it so embarrassing that we are spending millions getting tourists to come and when they come here we are not looking after them," said Tom Cleary, the owner of the Temple Bar.

"A lot of restaurants close because they can't sell wine. You can go to the Vatican, Lourdes, Medjugorje or Fatima and you can have a drink today. Why can't we here?

"It absolutely upsets me. You have the big rugby match with 10,000 Bath supporters here, and what do they do?"

"It shows the politicians are detached from modern life. Next year is the 100-year anniversary of 1916 and it will be Easter. What are they going to do then?"

Tourists on the streets of Dublin seemed bemused by the pub closures.

Students Ni Chung (20) and Yi-En Chen (21), from Taiwan, arrived here last Tuesday and only found out yesterday morning that the pubs would be shut. "We will go to a restaurant and a movie instead," said Ms Chung.

Kim Visser (23), from Holland, said many people are off work on Good Friday but they can't go out.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland claimed Good Friday is costing the sector €15m in revenue.

hnews@herald.ie

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