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Governmnet to examine Good Friday pub closing. They may have no choice.


Tin Foil Hat

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Most of you are probably not aware that today, May 3rd, is Good Friday. Orthodox Good Friday, that is. It was news to me too until I stumbled upon this piece of information a few days before the catholic Good Friday, which we all know and love.

This interesting little tidbit got me wondering how, or if, Good Friday was defined in Irish law. It struck me that, if Good Friday is not properly defined, then the law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on that day is essentially unenforceable.

Reading through the Intoxicating Liquor Acts was of little help, so I emailed the Department of Justice

Hi,

I have a question. As we all know it is illegal to sell alcohol on Good Friday. What I would like to know is how, or if, Good Friday is defined in Irish Law. Good Friday is different for different sects of Christianity. Orthodox Good Friday, for example, falls on May 3rd this year. Our state no longer recognises the ‘special position’ of the catholic church and our constitution states that the state shall not endow any religion.
So, is there a loophole in the law?

Regards,
Tony
And the response:-

It's a bit of a politicians answer, in that it does not answer my question at all. But that, in itself, might be quite telling. It took over a month to get this response, and my query seems to have reached the desk of the Minister, so it seems to have been taking reasonably seriously.

Dear Mr H*****

I am directed by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan
Shatter T.D., to refer to your recent e-mail concerning the prohibition of
the sale of alcohol on Good Friday.

The position is that the Government Legislation Programme provides for
publication of the Sale of Alcohol Bill. It is intended that the Bill will
modernise the law relating to the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol
in licensed premises and registered clubs, including the statutory
provisions relating to times when alcohol may be sold, by repealing the
Licensing Acts 1833 to 2011 and the Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008
and replacing them with streamlined and updated provisions. The statutory
provisions restricting the sale of alcohol on Good Friday, which have
historical origins, will be examined in that context.

Yours sincerely

______________________
Damien Brennan
Private Secretary to the Minister for
Justice and Equality
 
Last edited:

Congalltee

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Nice case if you can find an Orthodox Christian who's a publican or owns an off-licence (the 1927 Act just says Good Friday without any definition).
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Hopefully they will repeal McDowell's ridiculous early closing on a Sunday night laws.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Nice case if you can find an Orthodox Christian who's a publican or owns an off-licence (the 1927 Act just says Good Friday without any definition).
Personally I don't give a hoot either way whether the pubs are open or not on one day of the year, but it is quite obvious that the law was written for Catholic Good Friday, I'm not a lawyer but it would really be a case of the law being overturned by semantics if it was.

I think more to the point is that given he is going to introduce a new bill Shatter now has a chance to overturn some of our ridiculous laws on closing time. I am not a big drinker (hence not too bothered about one or two days a year either way) but when I go out to have a good night with friends it is really annoying that the state tells me what time it expects I should be at home in bed by.
 

Tin Foil Hat

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Nice case if you can find an Orthodox Christian who's a publican or owns an off-licence (the 1927 Act just says Good Friday without any definition).
You wouldn't need to be an orthodox publican. If the law is not airtight then its not airtight.
 

Congalltee

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You wouldn't need to be an orthodox publican. If the law is not airtight then its not airtight.
No, you have have the appropriate standing to challenge (there is a constitutional right to a livelihood and religion, there is no right to buy alcohol everyday of the year)
 

FrankSpeaks

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Apr 18, 2008
Messages
4,625
Interesting argument, time to get rid of these ridiculous opening and closing times.

I often go to the shops early, that is before opening time and cannot by a bottle of wine or a bottle of beer, fukking stupid.
 

Tin Foil Hat

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No, you have have the appropriate standing to challenge (there is a constitutional right to a livelihood and religion, there is no right to buy alcohol everyday of the year)
No there isn't. But any legislation curtailing the sale of alcohol on particular days and/or at particular times needs to cross every 't' and dot every 'i'. Legislation curtailing the sale on alcohol on an undefined day is a like legislation curtailing the sale of alcohol "when it's late".
Good Friday is not properly defined in law. I can mean one of at least two separate days.
 

Congalltee

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Interesting argument, time to get rid of these ridiculous opening and closing times.

I often go to the shops early, that is before opening time and cannot by a bottle of wine or a bottle of beer, fukking stupid.
Given the number of alcoholics in Dublin city centre - off licence opening hours should be well into the afternoon (IMHO).
 

Congalltee

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No there isn't. But any legislation curtailing the sale of alcohol on particular days and/or at particular times needs to cross every 't' and dot every 'i'. Legislation curtailing the sale on alcohol on an undefined day is a like legislation curtailing the sale of alcohol "when it's late".
Good Friday is not properly defined in law. I can mean one of at least two separate days.
Not really.
Interpretation Act 2005, Section 5
 

Congalltee

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Interesting link. But there is nothing absurd about pointing out that there is at least two Good Fridays - especially as we are part of a European Union that includes Greece.

Edit:- Interesting that the DoJ did not point me to this link in their response.
The Minister will probably repeal it, but in 1927 it would be absurd to suggest that Oireachtas intended any other date than the Roman Catholic Good Friday.
 

An Gilladaker

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Apr 23, 2009
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4,313
Most of you are probably not aware that today, May 3rd, is Good Friday. Orthodox Good Friday, that is. It was news to me too until a few days before I stumbled upon this piece of information a few days before the catholic Good Friday, which we all know and love.

This interesting little tidbit got me wondering how, or if, Good Friday was defined in Irish law. It struck me that, if Good Friday is not properly defined, then the law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on that day is essentially unenforceable.

Reading through the Intoxicating Liquor Acts was of little help, so I emailed the Department of Justice



And the response:-

It's a bit of a politicians answer, in that it does not answer my question at all. But that, in itself, might be quite telling. It took over a month to get this response, and my query seems to have reached the desk of the Minister, so it seems to have been taking reasonably seriously.
Since FG/Lab came to power lots of pubs are closed every Friday:lol:
 

Tin Foil Hat

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The Minister will probably repeal it, but in 1927 it would be absurd to suggest that Oireachtas intended any other date than the Roman Catholic Good Friday.
1927 was a long time ago. The intoxicating liquor act has been updated many times since then, most recently in 2008.

Interesting that we seem to have a two tier law system.
From your link
5.—(1) In construing a provision of any Act (other than a provision that relates to the imposition of a penal or other sanction)—
We seem to have real laws and, "Ah lads, will ye not just do as I tell ye", laws.
 

Congalltee

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Good point about s.5: trading on Good Friday certainly does have a penal consequence and sanction.
 

Kevin Doyle

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Jan 9, 2007
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11,067
Most of you are probably not aware that today, May 3rd, is Good Friday. Orthodox Good Friday, that is. It was news to me too until a few days before I stumbled upon this piece of information a few days before the catholic Good Friday, which we all know and love.

This interesting little tidbit got me wondering how, or if, Good Friday was defined in Irish law. It struck me that, if Good Friday is not properly defined, then the law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on that day is essentially unenforceable.

Reading through the Intoxicating Liquor Acts was of little help, so I emailed the Department of Justice



And the response:-

It's a bit of a politicians answer, in that it does not answer my question at all. But that, in itself, might be quite telling. It took over a month to get this response, and my query seems to have reached the desk of the Minister, so it seems to have been taking reasonably seriously.
Sh*t load of free pints for you next Good Friday :lol:
 

Bismarck

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Mar 7, 2010
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452
The Minister will probably repeal it, but in 1927 it would be absurd to suggest that Oireachtas intended any other date than the Roman Catholic Good Friday.
And the Protestant one as well!!! It was not a sectarian measure - it maybe dated though
 

NYCKY

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Apr 17, 2010
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13,101
The OP has a very good point but it shouldn't be repealed because of semantics, the pubs should be able to be open every Friday, whether or not it's good. Also, the pubs should be allowed to be open on Christmas day should they so choose.
 

Feckkit

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Sep 6, 2011
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5,889
The Minister will probably repeal it, but in 1927 it would be absurd to suggest that Oireachtas intended any other date than the Roman Catholic Good Friday.

Or, even, the non-catholic protestant one.
 
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