Legislation passed in the Dáil yesterday will allow the sale of alcohol on Good Friday for the first time since 1927. It is expected to be signed into law by the President before Easter of 2018.

The Minister of State David Stanton, who introduced the bill, said tourism was a key factor to consider. “Tourism makes a much greater contribution to our economy and this is particularly true during holidays, such as the busy Easter period,” he said.

“In addition changing demographics and increasing diversity in our population have led to a reduction in traditional religious practice. Taking all these factors into consideration the Government considered that it was an opportune time to have an examination of the Good Friday restrictions.

Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan said the provision should now be removed as people often found ways of circumventing the ban regardless.

Although reaction to the new law has been overwhelmingly positive, Independent TD Mattie McGrath was one politician who said he would be opposing the change. The Tipperary native says publicans had told him that Good Friday is the only day when publicans can “take a breather”.

“The tourists won’t run away because they can’t get a drink on Good Friday,” he said.

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