23rd February 2017
Senator Billy Lawless today introduced his Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 which, if passed, would end the outdated practice of the closure of licenced premises on Good Friday.
Moving the Bill, which has been co-sponsored by Senators Victor Boyhan, Michael McDowell and Gerard Craughwell, Senator Lawless noted that “the Irish pub is an intrinsic part of our hugely successful tourism offering, and a major employer in the economy”.
“As a modern European nation we have outgrown this dated practice, and I hold this view as a citizen and Oireachtas representative, who respects all traditions and faiths” he continued.
“Thirty-five years ago I served as President of the Vintners Federation of Ireland and this issue, and campaign has continued up until today.”
Senator Lawless said “During that time we have witnessed and lived through many changes in Ireland, from the abolition of Holy Hour through to the passing of the Marriage Equality Referendum and it is now time to amend the Liquor Licencing legislation in a similar progressive vein”
He noted that many Oireachtas colleagues who are advocates of the current Public Health (Alcohol) Bill are in favour of Good Friday opening as licensed premises provide a safe, regulated and comfortable environment in which food and drink can be enjoyed by families, tourists and locals alike on one of the busiest weekends of the year.