Low standards and sensationalism in Irish journalism seem to have become the benchmark by which we receive our news. I was listening to a radio news report that sensationally informed me that I would have to “go dry for 24 hours”.
For anyone not living in Ireland, the sale of alcohol is prohibited, by law, on two days of the year, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The ban, dating back to the foundation of the Irish State is not a new one. The Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1927 enshrined in law that alcoholic drink could not be sold on Christmas Day, Good Friday and St Patrick’s Day. However, the law relating to St Patrick’s Day was repealed in the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1960 to cater for visitors coming to country in order to celebrate the national feast day. But sales on Christmas Day and Good Friday remain prohibited for the majority of Irish people. Some exemptions allow the sale of alcohol to those travelling by sea, air or ferry; attending a licensed theatre; those attending a race meeting or a greyhound trial; those staying in licensed premises, such as a hotel, as long as it is with a meal; also in military canteens and in clubs.
But outside of these exceptions, the ban on a tipple has stood the test of time – opposition from publicans and sensationalist media reports not withstanding. After eighty five years it is hardly breaking news.