Hey Enda, 1850 Called, They Want Their Drinking Laws Back

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By Nicole Buckler

Okay we are getting pretty fed up of this backward-ass archaic value system getting in the way of ACTUAL real life. Seriously we don’t regularly go to mass anymore, and feel like Father Ted and Father Dougal if we do. So when old weird and seriously backward laws get pulled out to haunt us in our real life, something’s gotta give.

In 2016, Irish people are still fighting to get the church out of our grill over schools, our bodies, and who we choose to love. We managed to change things so that gay marriage is accepted. Phew. Now we have another crucial wildly important thing to change, BOOZE LAWS.

The ban of alcohol sales on Good Friday goes on. And why is it so important that we change this law? Because we aren’t children. Because the church-inspired laws can’t tell us what to do. Because our laws now are based on reasonable ideals, not on old weird archaic ideas that need to be put away in the history books as a quaint little story that starts with… “Remember back in 2016 when we couldn’t drink on Good Friday because like… RELIGION?” (And mind you, whose religion is that? They don’t speak for all of us or even most of us these days).

The Restaurants Association of Ireland are having a conniption over it. And they feckin should. They have mercilessly criticised the ban of alcohol sales on Good Friday, saying that the law is unacceptable at such a busy time for the tourism, restaurant and hospitality industry. And it’s unacceptable because it is BACKWARD AND WEIRD.

Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins said that the law is not only affecting our tourism brand abroad, but business internally as well. “This law affects more than just the diners who want a drink, it affects thousands of restaurant employees on a busy weekend when restaurants simply won’t open. It is unacceptable to have this archaic ban in place on religious grounds, especially in the multicultural and multi-religious society that Ireland has become. Aside from the law showing a 19th-Century image of Ireland to incoming tourists, many restaurants decide to close their doors on Good Friday.

“Between 1916 centenary celebrations and an international soccer friendly in the Aviva Stadium, Easter weekend, 2016 is expected to draw an estimated quarter of a million visitors to Ireland. A change in legislation to allow for the sale of alcohol on Good Friday this year would be worth €25 million to the industry and €6 million to the government in taxes.

“Ireland must be the only country in the world that has a bank holiday weekend and actually chooses to close the tourist attractions it is best known for – the centres of craic and ceol – the restaurants and pubs of the country. Even the Vatican City doesn’t obey this ridiculous law.”

OMG WHAT. Even the Vatican City doesn’t obey this ridiculous law. We are ridiculous. OMG Enda, make us modern we are so embarrassing!

Mr. Cummins is also having a conniption about that fact that several greyhound stadiums around Ireland have been granted licenses to serve alcohol on Good Friday. But restaurants haven’t. The legislation also provides certain other exemptions allowing the sale of alcohol to those travelling by sea, rail, air or ferry. It’s incongruent and stupid.

People can also be sold alcohol while staying in a licenses premises, such as a hotel, as long as it is with a meal.

Says Cummins, “These businesses are working the law and using it to their advantage – why shouldn’t restaurants? It’s tough for all businesses relying on customers to part with their well-earned cash on a long weekend. They cannot afford to open without serving alcohol, and they definitely cannot afford to close either.”

In 2009, Judge Mary Fahy said prosecuting restaurants which offered wine with meals on Good Friday was ‘ludicrous’ in today’s world. During a hearing in Galway District Court, she decided not to record convictions against nine restaurants that had done this.

People let’s support our local restaurants by pressuring our politicans to change these stupid laws which treat us like (a) children and (b) like we give three flying fecks about what the church would like us to do. I’ll be ordering booze on good Friday. Hell I’m going for tequila and saké body shots across the Teppanyaki iron griddle. And actually I doubt any religious person will care. In fact I plan to do some body slammers with them. And they will love it. I’m sure even Jesus got hammered on Good Friday.

 

Follow this issue on Facebook: www.facebook.ie/RestaurantsAssociationOfIreland

 

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