Finally, Ireland is moving on to become a modern society – away from the Nanny State of time gone by.

The ban to serve or sell alcohol on Good Friday existed since 1927. Originally the ban covered St. Patrick’s Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The St. Patrick’s Day ban was lifted in 1960 to make tourists feel more welcome. 58 years later, the Irish government has decided that Good Friday is to follow. Let’s see how long it takes to lift the ban for Christmas Day.

The opponents of lifting the Good Friday ban argue that the government is sending out the wrong signal. Ireland is supposed to have a huge problem with alcohol. What these opponents don’t want to see is, that Ireland doesn’t have more of a problem than Germany, Austria or the Czech Republic. Not that this should be an excuse to bury the head in the sand, but it shows that the “irresponsible Irish drinker” isn’t any worse than the rest of Europe.

Instead of legislating for who can drink when, politicians should start to concentrate on education. Young people should be seriously educated about alcohol and other drug abuse. There will always be some people who are not able to consume legal drugs, such as alcohol, in a responsible manner and all the rules and laws on this planet are not going to change this.

Others argue that Good Friday was the only day in the year, when the publicans had a chance to rest and maybe do some renovation work to their premises. What kind of reasoning is this? Should our government really legislate to outlaw the opening of a licensed premise on a particular day of the year, so that the publican can paint the ceiling? Aren’t we getting carried away here? Is it not possible for a landlord of a licensed premise to decide to close whenever he or she wants to either rest or do essential work to their business?

I believe it is time to legislate less and give the people of this nation more power to make responsible decisions. Let pubs open and close at their discretion. Any day of the year, any hour of the day. Let’s stop to artificially push up the prices for alcohol under the pretence to stop people from drinking too much. People with an alcohol problem will drink alcohol, never mind the price of it. They will cut corners somewhere else. Maybe the kids won’t get the food they would like or they deserve. Never mind a family holiday or a new pair of shoes. A person who needs the next drink, will have the next drink – regardless of the expense involved.

It’s all about education and where education doesn’t help, because people are sick and can’t control their alcohol consumption, we need to provide compassion and make services available to help those people.

If you treat a person like a child, this person is going to act like one. If you treat a person like a responsible adult, they’ll eventually behave like a responsible adult.