Every now and then we hear of an event that is so rare as to be remarkable.
Maybe it’s a planetary alignment that won’t happen again until the year 2544, a flower blooming in the desert that only blooms once every thousand years or a politician who misses a funeral. You know the kind of thing?
We had one of those once in a millennium events here in Ireland yesterday that had me checking all my news sources to verify its veracity, as frankly I didn’t believe it when I first read it. It is certainly an event that is rarer than hens’ teeth and I am unlikely to see it again in my lifetime.
The gubmint repealed a stupid law!
Ninety years or so a law was introduced that banned the sale of alcohol on Good Friday. It was of course a time when Ireland was firmly under the thumb of the Catholic Church and the gubmint of the time would do anything to appease the archbishop and avoid a belt of the crozier.
Naturally off-licences did a booming trade on the preceding day, and Good Friday parties were a regular event where people who were normally teetotal got headless on cheap lager just to give two fingers to the establishment. There were those who would book a return trip on the ferry to Holyhead as ferries were exempt [as were trains for some strange reason]. People who would normally never darken the door of a pub went out of their way just to have a pint on Good Friday.
There are people who are bemoaning the repeal. Of course there are. This is Ireland after all. “What about the bar staff” they cry. “They need the day off” they wail. Obviously bar staff have never thought of taking a day off anyway? “It promotes alcoholism” they shout, totally overlooking the fact that people just stock up with slabs of beer the day before. And anyway, I doubt that one extra day’s drinking is going to tip someone into alcoholism?
There is a mindset in this country where they think that anything that isn’t banned is therefore de facto compulsory. They were against divorce because every couple would have to separate. They’re against abortion because every pregnancy will obviously end in termination. So now they have this vision of four and a half million people all smashed out of their gourds and puking in the gutters every Good Friday.
Personally I couldn’t give a shite whether the pubs open or not. What I do rejoice in is the breaking of another link with the bad old church-ridden days.
Now, if only they’d get rid of the fucking Bongs on television at six every evening.