Closing the pubs on Good Friday

 

Sir, – Kathy Sheridan (Opinion, April 13th) had some wise things to say about current legislation to end closure of pubs on Good Friday and what interests are served by this legislation.

Alcohol – good and all as it can be – is not a necessity. Closing pubs for one day in the year is no big deal or hardship to anyone.

However, alcoholism and addiction is a very big deal. It is a major challenge for many people, including young adults, and causes profound and lasting damage to health and to relationships.

The country, gathered around an established and long-standing “Good Friday” tradition has a golden opportunity to highlight the importance of moderation in alcohol; and to use Good Friday as a platform for innovative awards, incentives and interventions to highlight drink-related health issues. It would cost a fortune in PR to come up with such an idea.

Why on earth would you throw such an important opportunity away by ending the Good Friday tradition?

Why? Because our zealous secular culture can’t join up the dots, that’s why. It’s pathetic listening to secularists’ “let’s-all-be-sensible” justifications for ending it. We have all seen so many (young) people plagued by alcohol addiction.

It seems that we just don’t understand (or don’t want to understand) how effective a silent, good-humoured (with a little bit of sacrifice thrown in!) witness could be in getting across such an important message. They should wise up.

Prof RAY KINSELLA,

Ashford,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – In order to accommodate the more religious among us, perhaps we could leave Good Friday as an alcohol-free day, but instead move the bank holiday weekend to the weekend after Easter.

That way, the bowsies who can’t live without drink of a bank holiday weekend can also be accommodated. – Yours, etc,

DAVID DORAN,

Bagenalstown,

Co. Carlow.

A chara, – Perhaps when the ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday is removed it might be replaced with a ban on the sale of cigarettes. Good Friday could then become Better-Not-To-Smoke-Friday. – Is mise,

DERMOT O’ROURKE,

Lucan, Dublin.

A chara, – Shane Ross is berated for wanting to tighten up drink-driving laws. At the same time it is announced that pubs will soon be able to open on Good Fridays – one of only two days in the year when they are closed. It makes you wonder whether the real power in this country lies in the hands of vested interests or our elected representatives. – Is mise,

Revd PATRICK G BURKE,

Castlecomer,

Co Kilkenny.