THE lifting of the Good Friday alcohol ban has been met with mixed reactions from the Catholic community, off-licence owners and the general public.
The Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley, said he was concerned about the abuse of alcohol and the availability of drink “not alone on Good Friday but on every other day.”
The Bishop said: “Research has shown that one in three families have been affected by abuse of drink to such an extent that they are incapable of leading normal lives.”
Bishop Buckley also said Good Friday was “a most sacred day in the Church’s calendar,” which he said was recognised by Christians of all denominations.
“We are confident that people will continue to attend their churches on that day,” he added.
Off-licence owner Gary O’Donovan was also not overly impressed with the abolishment of the Good Friday alcohol ban.
“The drinks industry now only has one day off a year. The off-licence industry did not look for this.
“We were quite happy to have two days off a year, which was Good Friday and Christmas Day. It was the same for everyone. Now we have one, so I hope that won’t be got at eventually,” said Mr O’Donovan.
Mr O’Donovan said he thought the legislation was to placate disgruntled Dublin publicans who were missing out on trade by closing on that day.
“I think this was mainly an initiative from the Dublin publicans with the tourism that they have up there. I think it is mainly a Dublin driven agenda and they finally got their legislation.”
The off-licence owner accepted the new law with reluctance. “It is what it is. It is in now and it is changed forever more. We will all just have to live in this new world of it.
Although he wonders if it was necessary. “Was there a need for it? It is debatable.”
The Evening Echo took to the streets of Cork to ask people what their views were regarding the lifting of the ban and were met with resounding positivity for the abolishment of “archaic rules.”
A general sentiment was people should have the choice and religion should not be involved in the legislation of a nation.