Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald confirmed earlier today that Irish pubs will remain closed on Good Friday, following renewed calls to have the law banning the sale of alcohol in licensed premises repealed.
Minister Fitzgerald says she "wouldn't be doing it this year", but did say that the law is being considered under new alcohol laws due to be considered in the near future.
The law, which has been in effect since 1927 and is older than the formation of the Republic, stated that alcohol could not be sold on Christmas Day, St. Patrick's Day and Good Friday. However, the law concerning St. Patrick's Day was repealed in 1960 for - you guessed it - tourism reasons. The government at the time claimed that tourists were confused by the law that closed pubs on St. Patrick's Day.
Oddly enough, that's exactly what most people are saying now about the Good Friday law. As it stands right now, you can still get a drink on Good Friday provided you're on a ferry crossing, at a live event, staying at a hotel where food is served with the meal or a live theatre.
Naturally enough, publicans are extremely upset with the news. The Licensed Vintners' Association said that Minister Fitzgerald's refusal to address the archaic law is "a lost opportunity not just for publicans but for the capital city and the tourist sector as a whole."