A test case, backed by the Licensed Vintners Association, has been brought by Red Cow Inn, Dublin, to ensure pubs in Dublin will be granted late bar extensions to serve
alcohol after normal closing times on Good Friday.
In January legislation amending the Intoxicating Liquor Act was passed allowing pubs and other licensed premises across the country to open and legally serve alcohol on the religious holiday for the first time in almost 100 years.
A decision is now being sought over special exemptions applications for late bars in Dublin on Good Friday, which falls on March 30 next.
They have been adjourned pending a decision by Judge Michael Coghlan at Dublin District Court.
Dorothy Collins BL, for the Red Cow Inn on the Naas Road, D. 22, told the court that their application was being treated as a “test case”; it was supported by the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and if they were refused an appeal will be launched.
In their case the application was for a special exemptions order to run from Good Friday into the early hours of Saturday, March 31 next.
The barrister furnished the court with a copy of the recent amendment to the Intoxicating Liquor Act which has deleted any reference to Good Friday and she said that it was now “deemed to be an ordinary Friday”.
Ms Collins said 110 premises had similar applications pending in the same court for special exemptions orders and the majority of them related to Good Friday.
She submitted that it was an extremely important holiday period for Dublin, particularly in relation to tourists, and the legislature has now decided that it was no different in law to any other day.
Judge Coghlan said that in relation to the application by the Red Cow Inn, he was going to have to “look at the law and I will be able to distil my views in approximately a week hence”.
There was no Garda objection to the application.