No drinking in Ireland today

. . . unless you’ve already stocked up on booze. Due to archaic and religiously-based laws, it’s illegal to sell booze in the Republic of Ireland on Good Friday. That also goes for pubs, which are closed there today, although a few restaurants have dispensation to sell alcohol so long as it’s served with a meal. An article in the shows how silly this all is.

Curiously, it’s okay to sell booze on Easter Sunday, but you simply can’t buy a bottle on the day Jesus died. If you must drink, I suppose you’re supposed to drink vinegar.

As documentation, here’s a picture from Breaking News with the caption:

Dunnes Stores in the Blanchardstown centre have come up with a rather unique way of preventing people getting at alcohol on Good Friday.

They have placed the drink behind a wall of toilet paper, it maybe a message to people to ‘soak’ up today’s drinking ban.


I object, even if the toilet paper is named after cats.

Really, it’s time to get rid of all these religiously based laws, called “Blue Laws” in the U.S. Wikipedia has a nice article on the U.S. laws and those of other countries.

h/t: Grania


  1. gbjames
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink


  2. godsbelow
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It’s the same in Queensland: alcohol can only be sold with food at licensed restaurants etc. As in so much else, we’re decades behind the rest of Australia.

    • kelskye
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      The ACT has no official restrictions, but all shops close anyway. It just means stocking up a day before hand.

      For me, I took a lovely bottle of Rutherglen durif out of my cellar, and finished the night with a glass of Maker’s Mark. So it was a very good Friday!

  3. Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Thats nothing compared to Germany where it is forbidden to dance today.

    • Robert Seidel
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      There are additional laws for each federal state, too. For instance, in Bavaria, you’re not allowed to play music in a pub.

    • Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Well, let’s not exaggerate! Here in Berlin the Tanzverbot only applies between 4am and 9pm; in Hamburg between 2am and midnight; and in Bremen only from 6am to 9pm.

      It’s all clearly laid out in this easy to read reference table.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Through that chart, I just learned the best German word: Memorial Day = Volkstrauertag because the people are sad that day.🙂 or maybe it should be😦

        • Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          I just noticed that on All Souls Day the only Tanzverbot is in Niedersachsen, but only in those parishes where the Catholic population is greater than 40%. That is definitely not a concession to any secular principles. I’d bet it goes back to some nasty conflict between Catholics and Protestants!

    • natalielaberlinoise
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      32 years in this country and I never knew not to go clubbing on Good Friday. Man, all that sin…

  4. SA Gould
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    KittenSoft? It’s a shout-out to Ceiling Cat! Someone there has a sense of humor!

  5. Larry Smith
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Notice the toilet paper brand is Kitten Soft, so maybe Ceiling Cat approves of this after all?

  6. JBlilie
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t slow down my Irish colleagues! 🙂

  7. Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We used to have dry Sundays in Colorado – I’m guessing a move supported by much of the industrial beer lobby. 3.2% beer was excepted, which gave them a way to dump tons of that dreck on the market. (the 18-20 y.o. market were generally the only people buying that horrible stuff, and the bingers would compensate by downing cases of it with predictable results)

    We finally joined the rest of the civilized world as our small breweries took over.

    • Kevin
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      New Mexico still has half a day a week of supplication to stupidity. That’s half a day too much.

      • Linda Grilli Calhoun
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Where? L

  8. Joseph McClain
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I can attest to this, although observance is not universal. I was in the County Clare on Good Friday in 2007 and found only one pub open in the village of Doolin and that one was very crowded.

  9. Maria
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I want some of that toilet paper!! Unfortunately, Ireland is archaic in more ways than this.

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I dunno – the idea of cat toilet paper is a bit insulting to the cats.😉

    I am such a heathen that I completely forgot today was a holiday until someone at work reminded me a couple days ago and then I forgot what the holiday was for.

    What happens in Ireland for the Jews – no yummy passover wine?🙂 You know there will be some left to drink. Yeah, I actually do like the grapey goodness of that wine.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      They can’t stop you from drinking it, only from buying it. I suspect a lot of people here have a stash at home in preparation for today, Catholic or not.

      Ironically, today is not a holiday here in Ireland. It’s like a double insult😦

      Fortunately I have a bottle of Mister Walker’s Amber Restorative at home.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Oh that so sucks – no day off and no buying booze! How do they expect you to get through a Friday that other places have off! Jeez!

      • Kevin
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        A bottle of Señior Walker’s on hand. Like always having one’s towel.

        • Grania Spingies
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          I sense another hoopy frood in our midst.😉

      • Kieran
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Well Holy Thursday is short for, “Holy feck there’s no booze and it’s 9:50 pm time to speed to the offie and buy my weight in alcohol Thursday” I took the day off work, kayaked down the Boyne in wonderful sunshine now off to a BBQ, how to make good Friday Great. Although I did make the mistake of reading David Quinn in the indo I balanced it out with Micheal Nugents piece right below.

        • Grania Spingies
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          I always think that David Quinn is secular Ireland’s strongest asset. The more he tells us of the Ireland he envisions, the more people realize that it’s an Ireland they really don’t want.

          • Kieran
            Posted April 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            I avoid reading him too often, the rest of the people in the canteen get disturbed by the swearing.

    • Merilee
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Think of all that tp you could rearrange, Diana!

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Currently, it is in its neutral, prehung state.

        • Merilee
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          But just think what you coukd do with it! Not to mention tping trees and buildings…reminiscing about college days

        • Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          Of course, wise people leave it in that orientation…


          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

            Blessed are the peace makers.

            • Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

              Shirley, I thought it was cheese?


              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted April 19, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

                Ha! I was hoping someone would say that!🙂

              • Posted April 19, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

                Happy to oblige, ma’am.


    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I was puzzled why the stock markets weren’t open this morning. What’s with that?

      • George
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Tradition. At one time, closing of financial markets was done for religious reasons. It sticks around these days out of tradition and to give the traders a long weekend.

        • Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          Let us all bow our heads and give thanks to the money changers for the blessings they hath bestowed upon our world economy.

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      “no yummy passover wine?”

      I can only assume you have never had kosher wine, else you would realize this phrase is an oxymoron.😉

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        I know it’s a controversial taste but I do like that wine and I like real wine too. Passover wine is like Welches for grown ups.😀

        • moarscienceplz
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink


  11. Kevin
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Apart from lobbying for gay marriage, revoking blue laws is the only politically motivated thing I do. Like roadside memorials, they need to stop. They are an annoyance and a continual, repulsive reminder of the willingness of people to accept ignorance reinforced by religion.

    • JBlilie
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Are you in Ireland? I absolutely loved that campaign ad with the young fellow going around asking all and sundry whether he might have their permission to marry Sinead, pointing up the absurdity of subjecting the question of gay marriage to plebiscite.

      Here it is:
      Sinead’s Hand

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        That was very clever.

  12. abrotherhoodofman
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Here’s to Ireland. I’m going to have a Guinness and fart in the general direction of Rome.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      If you’re in the Vatican today, you are allowed to drink as much as you like, amusingly.

  13. Jacques Hausser
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    In Switzerland most shops are closed on sunday, but if it was historically based on religion, today the trade unions ferociously fight against any liberalisation (sunday or night opening) with the quite secular argument: if YOU don’t work, why should WE ? Curiously they impose their view even to shops managed by the owners themselves.
    But bars and restaurants are open without restriction and have a closing day during the week (usually monday).

  14. Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand why anybody would want to grab a kitten and rub one’s netherbits with it. Even ignoring the unspeakable insult to the poor cat…does nobody realize that, in addition to the delightfully soft fur, those things have lots of razor-sharp appendages and more than enough intelligence and musculature to positively shred one’s privates?

    If you’re looking to self-sterilize, there are far less uncomfortable and unsanitary ways to achieve that goal.


    • gbjames
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I think everyone is missing the point. This display is comprised of cat-entertainment product.

      • Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Ah — very well, then. Carry on!


    • Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      nice kitty…

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        She’s just fixing it.

      • Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        So, akin to the use of Saint Bernard d*gs to deliver spirits to freezing avalanche victims, we can rely on friendly lions to deliver toilet paper to public restrooms that’ve run out?

        Works for me!


        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          Out of toilet paper? Don’t want to ask the stranger in the stall next to you if he/she has any? Simply text hakunamatp & we’ll send one of our helpful TP lions right over to sort you out!

          • Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            I’d probably text regardless of the paper status….


    • darrelle
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      And here I was thinking, “BRILLIANT! Some Genius in Ireland has trained a cat to use toilet paper instead of wiping its ass on the carpet!”

      Oh well. That would have been most helpful for me. I have been able to convince my current cat to use the toilet instead of a litter box (soooo nice), but I can’t get her to stop wiping her ass on my carpet! And when I try to wipe her ass for her she threatens me with violence!

      • Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Lightheartedness aside, you should check with the vet. There are some physiological conditions that can cause a cat to do that, and some (not all) of them can be serious. And I’m pretty sure solutions are generally not that much of a deal.


        • darrelle
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          In truth it is not a frequent occurance at all. And our vet says she is in beautiful shape, nothing he can find. The staff there loves her, they watch her for us when we go out of town, and then she has the run of the place. They call her “The Tiger.”

          • Posted April 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Good to know! And, I suppose, if her fur is on the longish side, it could even just be a matter of physics….


  15. bonetired
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Years ago, parts of Wales were “dry” on Sundays (including Aberystwyth whilst I was there) and so all the pubs were closed. There was – and is – a pub in a small border village called Llanymynech through the middle of which the border ran. The “English” bar was open but the “Welsh” one remained firmly shut …..

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Could you buy a beer at the English end of the bar and then walk to the Welsh end and drink it there?

      • gbjames
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Probably depends on how you feel about rugby.

      • bonetired
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        I can’t comment on that but there was a lovely story – probably apocryphal sadly – that did the rounds whilst I was at uni about a pub in Borth which is a few miles north of Aberystwyth. The pub open discretely on Sundays with only the back bar open. The local copper warned the landlord about possible raids otherwise he enjoyed a civilised pint himself. Until the day came when the authorities didn’t tell the local police about their actions …….

  16. Harrison
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    In an effort to pass the buck my state put Sunday sales up to vote in every county and city in the country.

    I have family who own a service station that’s within country jurisdiction but outside of the two nearest cities. Both cities voted to allow Sunday sales but the county did not (ironically due to city-based church groups canvassing the county).

    Needless to say my relatives lost a lot of business on Sundays.

    • Harrison
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Er, obviously I meant to say “every county and city in the state,” not “in the country.”

  17. Owen Recognizance
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    During my youth in Kansas, I recall an ambitious state attorney general who tried to keep airlines from serving booze on flights while passing over Kansas airspace on the principle of ‘as below, so above’.
    I believe it was shot down.

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      “I believe it was shot down.”
      The airplane? Wow, that’s a pretty harsh penalty!😉

  18. steve oberski
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I recall that when I lived in Vancouver we used attend Sunday morning “services” in Point Roberts; A geopolitical oddity, Point Roberts is a part of the mainland United States but is not physically connected to it, making it a pene-exclave of the U.S. It is located on the southernmost tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, south of Delta, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, and can be reached by land from the rest of the United States only by traveling through Canada.

    This was back when Sunday drinking was illegal in British Columbia.

    • JBlilie
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Many Vancouverites receive mail from the US there, hoping to avoid customs. The BC authorities are onto it however.

  19. Stephen Barnard
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    • darrelle
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      A much more sensible, and ethical, cause for celebration than what the christians came up with.

      • George
        Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Do you have a problem with human sacrifice and zombies?

        • darrelle
          Posted April 18, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Well, now that you’ve explained it more clearly for me, it doesn’t really sound all that bad does it?

  20. Jim Thomerson
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I have a certain nostalgia for Blue Laws. On Sunday, we used to fly control line model airplanes on empty paved shopping center parking lots. Now I drive 50 miles one way to a place where I can fly.

    Still can’t buy alcohol before noon on Sunday here in Texas.

  21. Gordon
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    New Zealand was largely closed Friday and again Sunday. Most shops, pubs etc sort of-pubs can sell alcohol with a “meal”, which includes fries and a bit of sauce. Attempts at reform defeated by christian MPs combining with unionists living in some 50s fictional working class ideal where Dad and Mother and kids sit around all day discussing the sociaist ideal.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      At least you can bring your own wine to a restaurant. In Canada we can’t do that.😦

  22. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I bet the ban on selling alcohol doesn’t greatly affect the amount of consumption.

  23. Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    In the UK we have ridiculous Sunday trading laws, limiting large shops’ opening times. And on Easter Sunday, large shops can’t open at all. (Maybe with some exceptions.)


    • frankschmidtmissouri
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      But don’t forget four straight days of football!

      • Posted April 20, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        That just adds injuries to insult …


        Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse all creative spellings.


  24. BillyJoe
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    In my home state of Victoria, Australia, football is banned on Good Friday. Well, not exactly banned but…

    So, instead of having four days of worshiping football, we have only a measly three days. It’s scandalous!

    To be fair, the football administrators are itching for public sentiment to turn so that they can play on Good Friday as well.

    • kelskye
      Posted April 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      I was really disappointed to turn on the TV last night and find no AFL being played. What good’s a public holiday without some footy on the TV? At least my beloved Swans will be playing today.

      • David Duncan
        Posted April 19, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        Congratulations on them beating Freo, I would never have picked that. I’ll bet a lot of people in tipping comps would never have seen that one coming.

    • David Duncan
      Posted April 19, 2014 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      I think the ban is self-imposed. There’s talk about who might play on Good Friday next year, I think North want to be in on it.

  25. Posted April 18, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    As an Irishman I do remember dreary Good Friday when we’d all sit around and count the hours down… ahh the memories

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