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  • Northside West

Publicans unite to call time on Good Friday ban

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 2:00pm

Story by Jack O' Toole
Publicans unite to call time on Good Friday ban

Pictured are Padraig Cribben, CEO, VFI, Donall O’Keeffe, CEO, LVA, Deirdre Devitt, President, LVA, Pat Crotty, President, VFI at the campaign launch.

Publicans unite to call time on Good Friday ban

Pictured are Padraig Cribben, CEO, VFI, Donall O’Keeffe, CEO, LVA, Deirdre Devitt, President, LVA, Pat Crotty, President, VFI at the campaign launch.

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A NORTHISDE publican is backing a new industry campaign calling on the Government to lift the ban on serving alcohol on Good Friday.

The ban is the last relic of the 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act, which dictates that pubs cannot sell alcoholic drink on Christmas Day, Good Friday and St Patrick’s Day.

The St Patrick’s Day ban was lifted in the ‘60s and Shane Carthy, owner of popular watering home, the Ivy House in Drumcondra, says it’s about time pubs were allowed open on Good Friday too.

“It just feels like everywhere else is open,” he told Northside People.

“Times have changed. We have tourists coming up to the bar and they’re laughing.

“We do lose trade but we also lose perception, people feel a bit short-changed. Irish people know that we’re closed but tourists don’t. We always have people coming over for that weekend. It’s always a weekend of high visitor rates.”

The Ivy House has been owned by the Carthy family since 1907 and like all pubs has adapted to changes in society.

“We used to have a Sunday closing for the Holy Hour but the times have changed. 

“I know it’s a hotbed issue for politicians, I do get that, but it just seems unfair given that everywhere else is open.

“It would be different if everywhere was shut, then you could understand it. Like Christmas day, that’s fair, but when other places are open it’s a bit unfair.”

The two main representative groups for publicans, the Licensed Vintners Association (Dublin) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (outside Dublin) have now jointly launched a new #AboutTime campaign to allow pubs open on Good Friday and Chief Executive of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe, says the rationale for change is compelling.

“There is no case for the licensed trade to be treated differently to other retail businesses,” he said.

“Easter is a huge tourism weekend right across the country. Forcing pubs and all licensed hospitality businesses to close sends a very negative signal to tourists and visitors who are left baffled and disappointed by the measure.”

The LVA and the VFI want Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to introduce new legislation in time for Easter 2017. 

Minister Fitzgerald told RTE Radio last month that the ban would not be lifted this year but that it would come under consideration in the future.

The Ivy House, Drumcondra.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here