Good Friday 2018 will be remembered as the first time since 1926 licensed premises could open and serve alcohol. While there was some opposition to liberalising the licensing laws, most people viewed it as a common-sense decision that brought pubs into line with other businesses.

Publicans across the State reported a “busy day’s trade” as customers took the opportunity to make a little bit of history.

“There was a novelty factor involved for many people who wanted the first-time experience of visiting a pub on Good Friday,” said VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben.

Pictured at the Glenmalure Lodge, Wicklow are VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben with owners Anne Dowling and her son Michael (centre). Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

“Our members reported a brisk trade from lunchtime throughout the afternoon. At this early stage, it would appear publicans in places like Cork and Kilkenny were particularly busy.

“The overall reaction from publicans is very positive. Consumers are also happy so we feel the debate about Good Friday trading is over and by this time next year it will be a normal part of Irish life.”

This was a big media story, which was covered nationally and internationally.

One of the big stars of the day was Maura Hallinan from Nana’s Bar, Douglas Street, Cork. Maura was eight was the ban was first introduced so the prospect of her pulling a pint on Good Friday had the media out in droves. Maura made the front page of The Irish Times and also appeared on TV3 News.

The New York Times also carried the story, featuring quotes from VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben.

 

 

Other Good Friday features included the following:

Journal.ie on Maura Hallinan

Examiner.ie

BBC

Cork Evening Echo 

In the week leading up to Good Friday the VFI ran a promotional video on social media platforms that so far has been viewed over 50,000 times:

Good Friday – Pubs of Ireland are open

Watch this video on YouTube.