Drink or dry on Good Friday?


Sir, – If ever there was doubt that drink was king in this country, the move to open pubs on Good Friday puts that one to rest. There are 363 days out of 365 in the normal year in which we Irish can lash out and prove we are the greatest drinkers in the world but that’s not enough, we need another one. Can we not stay sober for just two days in the year?

Senator Billy Lawless, not surprisingly a publican himself, who introduced the Bill in the Senate on Tuesday, told the House it was a disappointment to tourists that they could not experience the Irish pub on a Good Friday. It certainly is disappointing to those tourists who, when asked what they think of the Irish, respond that they are amazed we Irish can drink so much and with current Good Friday closure miss the experience of witnessing some of the blatant excessive drinking that passes for Irish pub culture.

Senator Lawless tells us the poor publicans are losing up to €40 million from the day’s closure, so let’s help keep them out of the poorhouse by opening on Christmas Day as well. And while we are at it, let’s go the whole hog – delete Good Friday from the calendar altogether and call it more appropriately just simply Arthur’s Day. – Yours, etc,


Howth, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Any chance we could keep the prohibition on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday next year and exchange it instead for a one-day moratorium on reporting about Ed Sheeran?

If I read one more article in The Irish Times about him and his Galway Girl I may have to resort to the drink. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – I am responding to Rory J Whelan’s letter (April 13th). He seems to argue the point that if the prohibition of pub opening is abolished people will have to work longer.

People already work on this day. Hotels, restaurants and most tourism and hospitality sectors still work the same amount of hours obviously bar pubs. So it should not make a difference.

We are not losing something that is making us Irish. We are losing something that is religious. To many that is a problem. But we are a country, not a religion. – Yours, etc,



Co Kerry.

Sir, – Unless I missed something, those who wish to abstain will still be at liberty to do so. – Yours, etc,