Thursday, 11 March 2010


Locked in battle on and off the field


While the national religion in Ireland may be Catholic the local religion here in Limerick is decidedly Rugby and now the two are locked together in mortal combat over the opening of public houses on the forthcoming Good Friday. The RUI (Rugby Union of Ireland) have scheduled a Munster-Leinster match to be played on the ‘holy day’ when by law no pubs are allowed to open. Over 40,000 rugby fans are expected to fill the venue on the day and the local hard-pressed Vintners are piqued that they will be unable to slake this collective thirst and take in some badly needed revenue. So the Vintners Association are making a legal challenge to the traditional ban on pub opening on Good Friday, and the issue has divided people into two camps, the traditionalists who do not want any change in the current status quo and the rugby aficionados who understandably want to enjoy a good day out.

Munster fan anticipates Good Friday pub closures

My position on this may surprise some readers, there are just two days in the year when this country’s love-affair with alcohol is curtailed- Good Friday and Christmas Day and I can’t see any good reason to change this. I don’t think there is any religious argument to maintain the ‘sanctity’ of Good Friday as this is just another man-made concoction to annually commemorate what in truth should be a daily consideration for a follower of Jesus. Socially however I think it’s a sad day for our state if we are unable to function for two days in the year without the sale of alcohol. Why not have the RUI change the date for the game rather than railroad the courts to provide refreshments for the rugby crowd, last time I checked it is a game of sport not a life choice ! One of the Franciscan Friar Community based in Moyross has gone too far when he has condemned the playing of rugby on the day as a threat to our ‘Christian civilisation’ Last time I checked there wasn’t much of Christian civilisation’ in evidence around town, and whether or not Munster fields a team is not likely to affect the situation one way or another. But let the pubs stay shut I say and let the rugby officials come to some other arrangement to keep their fans happy, I’m for the Good Friday pint ban.
Gerard O'Shea


Brian Mc said...

We live in a democracy do we not? I think if there was a vote most people would lift the ban.
The law of the country imposing religious practice on 100% of the people is as they "a bit Irish". If you want to practice your religion - our democracy guarantees you that right, and I say carry on. But inflicting the practice on the whole population whether they believe or not should not be tolerated.
Surely a legally enforced fast has no true religious value what so ever.
Away with it I say!

PS. I must say though that I do get a great buzz from beating the system. I will be watching the match in my local, although I will be using the back door, where there is a will there is a way, another great Irish practice.

Deirdre said...

Unfortunately closing the pubs does not stop people drinking. Sadly Good Friday is fast becoming a party day. Because people can't drink in pubs they buy slabs of beer the day before and drink twice as much on the day. I know loads of people who do this.

Turlough said...

Whatever about the public houses closing for the Good Friday match let's hope for a good outcome in todays clash with the Welsh at Croker.