Five ways to get around the Good Friday alcohol prohibition
Traditionally, Good Friday is supposed to be one of the few days in Ireland when everyone abstains from the drink. Well, traditionally…
While our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents hailed from an era when being a devout Catholic was a trait to be admired, the rest of us aren’t so pious if we’re being completely honest.
Rather than flocking home to prepare ourselves for mass last night, the majority of us were flocking to the nearest off-licence so we could stock up on booze and make sure our Easter not only consisted of chocolate, but also a sneaky little tipple of an alcoholic beverage.
If you forgot to buy yourself some last night or if you just feel like being a bit adventurous there are some loopholes available to you today if you want to try and buy a drink somewhere.
Here are five ways that you can get around the Good Friday Prohibition.
1. Travel somewhere: In 1927 the Intoxicating Liquor Act stated that alcohol could not be sold on Christmas Day, Good Friday and St Patrick’s Day. However, there is an exemption. Travelling is stressful and our Twenties counterparts realised this. So the sale of alcohol is banned everywhere today except in airport, ferry or railway station bars. Yes, you can go down to Connolly Station right now and have a drink – but you MUST have a ticket for a journey that is 40km or more on your person to avail of this loophole.
2. Attend a play: Get yourself to the Abbey Theatre and buy a ticket to see a play. Maybe you can indulge your cultured side with a bit of Oscar Wilde or W.B Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan. Powerful stuff. As long as you have a theatre ticket and are within the walls of a playhouse, you can legally enjoy a glass of whiskey or a pint – to help all the culture go down nicely, of course.
3. Go back some dogs: Surprisingly enough, gambling isn’t illegal today and, perhaps also surprisingly, greyhound racing stadiums avail of the Good Friday loophole. Why not turn Good Friday into Great Friday by getting yourself to your nearest racetrack, having a flutter on the dogs and enjoy a nice cool pint? As long as you can prove that you paid your entrance fe and are actively gambling, you can’t be given out to for buying drink apparently. There are greyhound meetings tonight at Curraheen Park in Cork, Galway, Harold’s Cross in Dublin and Limerick.
4. Book into a hotel: Book yourself and your other half into a hotel for the night. He or she will be delighted with a spontaneous night away in the lap of luxury, you’ll legally be able to buy alcohol from the bar downstairs because you’re a resident of the establishment. Sorted.
5. Rent a boat: There’s no law over international waters, so if you’re really, incredibly desperate for a drink rent a boat and sail out a bit until you’re halfway between England and Ireland. Crack open a can of alcohol and enjoy. The only problem with this plan is not only does it require an awful lot of effort, you’ll have to have previously bought your drink because telling an off-licence that you’ve just bought a boat will not make them hand over the booze.
So there you have it. A few prime ways to get around the Good Friday prohibition. Or, y’know, you could just try and abstain. If you choose to go cold turkey and stay away from the dark stuff today, we advise that you pay no attention to the news, because chances are they’ll be showing images of very jolly Americans celebrating New Beer's Eve today.
Yes, it just happens that April 6th - or Good Friday this year - marked the beginning of the end of the American alcohol Prohibition. It's now affectionately known in America as "New Beer's Eve", because in the Thirties, people lined up outside pubs and breweries waiting until they could legally purchase beer at midnight. Yeah, you might not want to see all the fun they’re having in the States...
And if you do happen to go overboard a bit today - hopefully not literally, while in international waters - you should pay attention to what those kindly people at Drink Aware have been saying over the last few days. Their Easter Morning After message is over here.