The prohibition on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday was lifted in 2018, meaning pubs and shops could sell drinks on this day for the first time since 1927. Can you buy alcohol on Good Friday in Ireland?

However, with so-called ‘wet pubs’ closed since March 2020, and gastropubs and restaurants shut except for takeaway, people will have to largely rely on supermarkets to stock up for the Easter Weekend. Some supermarkets and shops are planning to close on certain days over the weekend, so there are limited places to buy alcohol on Good Friday.

History of Alcohol Sales Prohibition on Good Friday

The sale of alcohol on Good Friday in the United Kingdom has a long and complex history, marked by periods of both prohibition and liberalisation. The key developments that have shaped the laws around good friday drinking laws and good friday alcohol regulations are explored in the following sections.

The 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act

The 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act was a landmark piece of legislation that aimed to curb the sale of alcohol on Good Friday. This Act prohibited all retailers from selling any alcoholic beverages, with fines and other sanctions in place for those who disobeyed the law. The intention was to promote responsible drinking and align with the solemn nature of the religious holiday.

Reasons for the Ban

The rationale behind the ban on good friday drinking laws and good friday alcohol regulations was multifaceted. Religious and moral considerations played a significant role, as Good Friday is a sacred day in the Christian calendar, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Additionally, there were concerns about the potential for public disorder and overconsumption of alcohol during the holiday period.

Lifting of the Ban in 2018

After more than 90 years of prohibition, the laws around the sale of alcohol on Good Friday were finally lifted in 2018. This change meant that pubs, shops, and other retailers could sell alcoholic beverages on this day for the first time since the introduction of the 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act. The lifting of the ban was seen as a reflection of the evolving social attitudes and a recognition of the needs of modern consumers.

Current Regulations for Alcohol Sales on Good Friday

As the laws around the sale of alcohol on Good Friday have been lifted, there are a few important things to know about the current regulations. Most supermarkets across the country will be open for their usual hours on Friday, however, you won’t be able to purchase alcohol until after 10.30am. This means that if you’re planning to stock up for the Easter weekend, you’ll need to keep an eye on the clock and make sure to do your alcohol shopping later in the day.

Off-licences will also be open as normal this Good Friday and can sell alcohol between 10.30 am and 10pm. So whether you prefer to pick up your drinks from a dedicated off-licence or from your local Dunnes Stores or Tesco, you’ll be able to do so, as long as you time your visit accordingly.

In addition, pubs can also open and sell alcohol on Good Friday, so you should check in with your local pub for their opening and closing times this weekend. This means that you can enjoy a pint or a glass of your favourite tipple at your neighbourhood pub, as long as you plan your visit carefully.

So in summary, whether you’re looking to stock up at the supermarket, pick up a few bottles from the off-licence, or enjoy a pint at your local pub, you’ll be able to do so this Good Friday, as long as you time your visit accordingly.

alcohol sales on good friday

Can You Buy Alcohol on Good Friday?

Yes, the prohibitive drinking laws on Good Friday have been scrapped, meaning pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops can serve alcohol. This change was made in 2018, lifting a ban that had been in place since 1927. Consumers can now purchase alcoholic beverages from a variety of outlets, though some timing restrictions may still apply.

good friday alcohol

Retailer Alcohol Sales on Good Friday
  • Supermarkets
Open, alcohol sales from 10:30am
  • Off-Licences
Open, alcohol sales from 10:30am to 10:00pm
  • Pubs and Restaurants
Open, alcohol sales as per normal licensing hours

Responsible Alcohol Consumption

As the good friday drinking laws and good friday alcohol regulations have been relaxed, it is important to consume alcohol responsibly, especially during the Easter weekend. Understanding the time it takes for the body to process alcohol and planning safe transportation options are crucial considerations.

Alcohol Processing Times

One standard drink takes approximately one hour to process. This includes half a pint of beer, stout or lager, a small glass of wine (100ml), or a pub measure of spirits (35.5ml). If you have 10 pints of Guinness, Heineken, Carlsberg, or some other lager or stout, around 4.5%, you cannot get into the car for 20 hours after finishing your final drink.

Safe Driving After Drinking

You will have to stay off the road for eight hours after you finish one bottle of red or white wine. If you are sticking to vodka – with professional measuring – and manage to drink 10 by the end of the night, then that would mean no driving for 10 hours after your final drink.

responsible alcohol consumption

Conclusion

The prohibitive drinking laws on Good Friday in the United Kingdom have been lifted, allowing pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops to serve alcohol once again. Supermarkets, off-licences, and pubs can all sell alcohol, though with some restrictions on timing – typically from 10:30 am onwards.

While the opportunity to purchase and consume alcohol on this public holiday has been restored, it is important to do so responsibly. One standard drink, such as half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine, takes approximately one hour to process. Consumers should plan their alcohol intake carefully, especially if they intend to drive the following day, as the legal alcohol limit can remain exceeded for several hours after the last drink.

By being mindful of safe alcohol consumption and transportation arrangements, individuals can enjoy the freedoms afforded by the lifted Good Friday drinking restrictions while prioritising their own wellbeing and that of others. As the UK returns to a more normalised Easter weekend, this balanced approach will ensure the festivities are celebrated in a responsible manner.

FAQ

Can you buy alcohol on Good Friday in Ireland?

Yes, the prohibitive drinking laws on Good Friday have been scrapped, meaning pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops can serve alcohol.

What is the history of the alcohol sales prohibition on Good Friday?

The 1927 Intoxicating Liquor Act brought into force ensured all retailers were prohibited from selling any alcohol, with fines and other sanctions in place for those who disobeyed. However, in 2018, the laws around its sale on Good Friday were lifted and meant that pubs and shops could sell drinks on this day for the first time in more than 90 years.

What are the current regulations for alcohol sales on Good Friday?

Most supermarkets across the country will be open for their usual hours on Friday, however, you won’t be able to purchase alcohol until after 10.30am. Off-licences will be open as normal this Good Friday and can sell alcohol between 10.30 am and 10pm. Pubs can also open and sell alcohol on Good Friday, so you should check in with your local pub for their opening and closing times this weekend.

Can you buy alcohol on Good Friday?

Yes, the prohibitive drinking laws on Good Friday have been scrapped, allowing pubs, hotels, restaurants and shops to serve alcohol.

What are the responsible alcohol consumption guidelines?

One standard drink takes one hour to process, and this includes half a pint of beer, stout or lager, a small glass of wine (100ml), or a pub measure of spirits (35.5ml). If you have 10 pints of Guinness, Heineken, Carlsberg, or some other lager or stout, around 4.5%, you can not get into the car for 20 hours after finishing your final drink.
You will have to stay off the road for eight hours after you finish one bottle of red or white wine. If you are sticking to vodka – with professional measuring – and manage to drink 10 by the end of the night, then that would mean no driving for 10 hours after your final drink.

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