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athgarvan

A Sober Ireland ? - where does one start?

Science shows that we are able to survive at least one day without alcohol. In 1927, Ireland enshrined in law that alcoholic drink could not be sold on Christmas Day, Good Friday and St Patrick's Day. The law relating to St Patrick's Day was repealed in 1960 to cater for foreign visitors coming to celebrate the national feast day.

We are now debating efforts to have the Good Friday sale-of-alcohol ban removed. It annoys tourists apparently.  Others argue that it is an archaic hangover from when the Catholic Church had a much greater influence on Irish society and say the laws are archaic and discriminatory, and cause a huge loss of revenue each year. They say that even if you go to within 100 yards of the Vatican you can get drink on Good Friday in a pub. They complain that we are unique.

The two days that pubs are closed are two of the most significant in the Christian calendar, marking the birth and death of Jesus. The closure is meant to be used as a mark of temperance and something of mourning, for the church. Because Ireland was very much a Catholic country at the time of the law, the tradition was carried on and is still maintained to this day.

The Germans have very heavy restrictions on Sunday trading and they couldn't care less if it annoys tourists. They want some days that are not totally given over to the dictates of commerce. Other countries in Europe also have customs restricting commercial activities. Good on them.

It is illegal to drive a car if you are under the influence of alcohol. Over a specific limit, until now, you are liable to a fine or to imprisonment. The Minister is now threatening to disqualify those convicted of driving under the influence.

Comments

First, Ireland is no longer a "catholic country"
it is part of the global community, specifically the EU

under methodist influence here, liquor in restaurants could not be served until after noon
presumably after sunday services
but restaurants got around it for brunch patrons - bloody marys and orange juice with champagne weren't classified as "drinks" but as "appetizers"
since the affected county is a BIG tourist area the law was protested and eventually repealed

when i was little, Connecticut had a ban on sunday sales - no alcohol - and only certain stores could be open
but pharmacies could be open and could sell alcohol for "medicinal purposes"
surprising ? - how many people needed "medicine" on sunday

in the USA we lead a 24/7 life - not everywhere but enough so that things must be available to meet the needs of areas at any hour
alcohol is one of those "needs" - a glass of wine with your meal is natural to many people

i have it from some one who was there that there is a bar inside St Peters - coffee with an additive is a regular thing in the morning - those in clerical garb are seen there regularly - don't know what else it sells

the state can't legislate sobriety
we tried that here - not only was if a failure, it developed a culture of drink that flouted the law and gave rise to very profitable criminal activity

it is praise worthy for the church to encourage abstinence from alcohol on certain days - but it is a pious practice - everyone does not have to follow it

everyone must find their own way - not everyone has the same "holy" day nor way of observing it - it is a multicultural world in the 21st century