No long Good Friday

The whole status of Good Friday being treated as a normal retail event for the licensed trade may have been thrown into doubt by Judge Michael Coghlan’s decision in the Dublin District Court to refuse a late bar extension to the Red Cow Inn this Good Friday.

The LVA supported the Red Cow’s application for a Special Exemption Order which was being taken as a test case following the passing of an Amendment to the Intoxicating Liquor Act.

As such, there should be no reason to not grant an SEO, argued the Red Cow’s barrister Dorothy Collins BL.

Her argument was supported by Constance Cassidy SC, another barrister in court representing a number of other Dublin pubs.

However the application was refused on the basis that there was already enough access to liquor in the capital over this period and Judge Michael Coghlan was of the view that there was no need nor was it desirable that SEOs be granted in Dublin metropolitan area-based venues for these periods.

However, in its submission to the Court the LVA had argued that there was “obvious demand for late bars in Dublin across this key trading weekend”.

With an appeal due to be heard in the Circuit Court tomorrow, LVA Chief Executive Donal O’Keefe told Drinks Industry Ireland, “We’re very disappointed by the Dublin District Court’s decision as we feel there’s no legal impediment to SEOs on Holy Thursday or Good Friday night.

“The sole objective in amending law was to have Good Friday treated as a normal working day for all licensed trade business and Wednesday’s decision failed to reflect that,” he continued, “It should also be noted that the Gardai had no objection and so we struggle to understand why the SEO was not granted.

“We’re looking forward to the appeal tomorrow and are hopeful that it will be successful.”

The outcome of the Circuit Court appeal should be known by lunchtime tomorrow.



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