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Good Friday trade requires amendments

Government won’t oppose lifting Good Friday ban but seek to amend legislation to ensure restaurants, clubs and hotels taken into account

The long-awaited lifting of the ban on alcohol sales on Good Friday is expected to be in place before next April’s Bank Holiday weekend at which time a number of anomalies to equitable trading (as reported in our lead story on page 5 of the May issue of Drinks Industry Ireland) will have been ironed out.

Following the seeking of the lifting of the 90 year-old ban for pubs and off-licences through the Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 put forward by Independent Senator Billy Lawless, the (former) Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald TD stated that the Government wouldn’t oppose the move but would seek to amend legislation to ensure that restaurants, clubs and hotels were taken into account in any new legislation.

These are separately catered for in the present legislation and the lifting of the ban will be made valid for them through amendments to the Senator’s Bill, she said.

It had originally been intended to incorporate this into the Sale of Alcohol Bill due before the Dail later this year.

According to a report in the Irish Times recently, a government source stated that the Bill, in its current form, does not allow for the sale of alcohol in restaurants and hotels and “it would not apply in the case of registered clubs. It would therefore introduce further anomalies and unfair trading conditions in respect of alcohol on Good Friday.”

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