It's like one of those phantom sensations you hear about - you know when someone's leg is amputated but they can still feel an itch in their foot. So it is with our licensing laws on Good Friday which prohibit the sale of alcohol for the whole day on Good Friday. Just when we thought we have shaken the Catholic church off our back, we get reminded just how dominant the Church was in this country. The Angelus is another daily reminder for us to pause from our hectic life, take a moment and reflect in solemn silence on just how screwed up this country was by the Catholic Church.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the day off. The panic buying that usually happens the day before more than compensates for the day lost in sales and yet hardly suggests that people are taking the whole fasting thing too seriously. However, there is nothing that will drive an Irish person to drink more than an official edict that says you can't have a drink. So people go to all sorts of lengths to get a drink - having house parties, going on train journeys, heading North...it's madness.
People often say to me "It's only one day in the year - would you relax!!!" Well, guess what, I can not drink any day I like - it happens most weeks that we can control ourselves for 24hrs - sometimes even more! What I don't like is being told that I can't have a drink - especially for spurious religious reasons. I'm as religious as the next man (there is nobody next to me!), but should we have somebody's religious views imposed on everyone? I am all for religious freedom - if you want to wear a burkha, sacrifice a goat, meditate in a cave, go to Mass, become a Scientologist or a Jehovah's Witness - go for it, knock yourself out - just leave me out of it, thanks very much. In return, I will leave you in peace as well.
Also, whether I drink myself or not, I would like to feel free to conduct my business whenever I want and not be told I have to close on a certain day because of some random diktat by a bishop in the 1930s.
So, come on Ireland, grow up and change this stupid law.
I will get Carol to work.