Unacceptable delay in publishing Sale of Alcohol Bill

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) continues to campaign for the abolition of the Good Friday ban on selling alcohol in pubs, hotels and restaurants.

The delay in publishing the Sale of Alcohol Bill, drafting of which will “examine” the sale of alcohol on Good Friday, is unacceptable to our 4,000 members, the general public and tourists who on arriving in Ireland for the Easter break are bemused to find such an antiquated law remains in place.

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben says: “The delay in publishing the Sale of Alcohol Bill is so protracted the Minister for Justice stated in December 2015 she was examining the feasibility of introducing a separate Bill that, among other issues, would tackle the sale of alcohol on Good Friday. We have heard nothing since then about this proposal.

“The campaign to allow Good Friday trading continues, however ongoing discussions with the Department of Justice reveal there is no sense of urgency around this issue.

“Although the Department says the reason for the delay is the complex nature of the legislation a Sale of Alcohol Bill is not required to abolish the Good Friday ban. Independent Senator Billy Lawless, in conjunction with likeminded Senators, has tabled the Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill 2017 that would reverse the closure of pubs. If the Minister for Justice chose to support that Bill the issue would be resolved and an antiquated law would be removed from the statute book.”