Hopeful of a positive response
The two organisations which represent publicans in Ireland, the Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland, have described a meeting with the Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald on the issue of Good Friday trading as very positive
During the meeting, both organisations highlighted the importance of the Easter weekend to all the on-licensed trade (pubs, hotels and restaurants) and reiterated their call for licensed trading to be permitted on the day.
They told the Minister that tourists are baffled and disappointed to find the country’s pubs closed for business on Good Friday and said the issue was especially important this year given that the Leinster v Bath European Champions Cup rugby game is scheduled to take place in Dublin that weekend.
They made the point that prospective visitors will be making their travel plans in the coming weeks and that a decision to allow licensed trading would be a huge boon to the tourist sector and the economy as a whole.
Both organisations said they were hopeful of a positive response in due course.
Looking to the future, both organisations pointed out that the Ireland 2016 celebration will have a particular focus on Easter 2016 and that it would be ludicrous if the hospitality sector was essentially closed on such an important date while other retailers were free to trade normally.