Thursday 14 December 2017

I'm all for the Good Friday booze ban, just to see how the drinkers react

Woman with wine glass
Woman with wine glass

The fear is already setting in. There were murmers by some friends of mine last week that they were counting down to the disaster.

Yes, Good Friday is approaching and the pubs will be closed for a whole day. A whole day. No alcohol, no pints, no fun (in a bar at least). How are we going to survive?

Just like The Angelus on RTE, there are some Irish Catholic traditions that have refused to go away. Is the mass closing of pubs on Good Friday something that belongs in the 21st century?

We never really went to the local pub as a family when we were growing up, so I don't remember the angst of this alcohol-free day being an issue when I was young. Then I moved to Edinburgh, at the age of 22, and as this rule didn't apply over there, I wasn't fully aware of the hoo haa that would go on every year back home.

It was only when I returned to Ireland in 2003 that I saw how people would get around this day.


Mainly they would buy crates, kegs and truck loads of beer, wine and spirits and have an all-day session in their homes.

Then there was that huge uproar a few years back when a Leinster-Munster rugby match was being played in Limerick on Good Friday and the local pubs went crazy, saying they would miss out on revenue up to €6m.

A case was taken by the pub owners and they won. They were allowed to serve alcohol in Limerick on Good Friday, the first time since 1927.

I think it is funny how we get so upset about this day of abstinence. I believe a barge on a canal somewhere in Dublin can legally sell drinks, and someone mentioned to me that a pop-up blow-up bar, similar to a bouncy castle, might be able to get around the law.

We have such a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol in this country - and the way that Good Friday sends shivers down our spines shows this.

But I, for one, like that this rule is still in place, even to see how it sends the lushes of this island go into meltdown.

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