Irish pubs open on Good Friday for 1st time in 90 years

MarketsAssociated Press

Guinness is flowing in Irish pubs on a Good Friday for the first time in 90 years.

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Lines of people were reported as pubs opened at 7 a.m. to serve alcohol, thanks to legislation that overturned the 1927 ban on pubs opening on Good Friday in time for thirsty locals and tourists.

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland welcomed the change, saying it would add 40 million euros ($49 million) in sales. Chief executive Padraig Cribben said "the Good Friday ban is from a different era and is rightfully consigned to history."

Cribben said the change meant pub owners now had a choice whether to open, "like all other businesses who were never subject to a ban."

The closing requirement had often surprised tourists arriving in Ireland for the long Easter weekend.

The Intoxicating Liquor Act of 1927 prohibited the sale of alcohol on Christmas Day, Good Friday and St. Patrick's Day. The St. Patrick's Day ban was lifted in 1962.

There had been some previous exceptions to the Good Friday ban. Alcohol could be served to hotel residents; those travelling by air, rail or sea; or people attending a theater show or a sporting event.

Good Friday is when Christians remember Jesus' death on the cross.