New era dawns as Publicans welcome Good Friday opening

Good Friday 2018 represents an historic day for Irish pubs as for the first time in over 90 years licensed venues will be open and permitted to serve alcohol.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), in welcoming the legislation that allows pubs to serve alcohol on Good Friday, says removing the ban was about introducing choice, both for the customer and the publican.

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben, says: “The Good Friday ban is from a different era and is rightfully consigned to history. Like all other businesses who were never subject to a ban, publicans now have a choice to open.

“Pubs opening on Good Friday is good news, both for publicans and their customers but also for the many tourists who visit Ireland over the Easter weekend, who in the past would find the pubs closed during a major holiday.”

The extra day’s business is a welcome boost to the pub trade. It is estimated Good Friday will generate over €40m in sales for pubs throughout the country.

Good Friday will also generate over €7m in VAT and Excise Duty contributions to the Exchequer.

The VFI Chief Executive says the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2017, which removed the prohibition on selling alcohol during Good Friday, reflects Ireland’s status as a mature nation.

“The Good Friday ban was introduced a lifetime ago in 1927 and we took the view that such a piece of archaic and discriminatory legislation needed to be removed.

“Times have changed and the new law reflects this reality.”

 Editor’s note


The Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2017 passed all stages in the Dáil with all-party support and was be enacted in time for Good Friday 2018, which falls on 30th March.

The Good Friday ban formed part of the 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act, which prohibited the sale of alcohol on three days each year: Christmas Day, St Patrick’s Day and Good Friday. The St Patrick’s Day ban was removed in 1962.

Good Friday pub opening hours are 10.30am – 12.30am (Saturday morning)

Join the conversation on Twitter using #OpenGoodFriday

Brian Foley
Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland
T: 01 492 3400/086 2690 281      E: [email protected]