Holy Week drinking - restricted since 1833: When do the pubs shut?

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Police in Londonderry and Limavady are warning the public not to come a cropper of the Easter licensing laws, which have restricted Holy Week boozing in Ireland and later Northern Ireland since 1833 due to the period’s special Christian significance.Police are reminding local people of the liquor licensing hours that will apply over the Easter weekend.

They’ll be calling at bars and clubs randomly to ensure they obey the laws.

The opening hours are as follows.

Holy Thursday, March 24, 11.30 am – 11pm (with half an hour drinking up time).

Premises with an Article 44 licence or a ‘late licence’ may remain open to serve alcohol until Midnight only (with half an hour drinking up time) provided an entertainment licence is in force

Good Friday, March 25, 5pm – 11pm only (with half an hour drinking up time). Premises can open earlier than 5pm for the sale of goods other than intoxicating liquor, for example. lunches and soft drinks.

No additional hours allowed

Off Licences: 8am – 11pm

Holy Saturday, March 26: 11:30am – 11pm (with half an hour drinking up time).

Premises with a ‘late licence’ may remain open to serve alcohol until midnight (with half an hour drinking up time) provided an entertainment licence is in force.

Easter Sunday, March 27, 12:30pm – 10pm (with half an hour drinking up time).

No additional hours allowed

Off Licences: No opening hours

Easter Monday and Tuesday: Normal licensing hours.

The hours are similar for Licensed Clubs. Those with an Article 26 Authorisation may remain open to serve alcohol to their members and guests until midnight only (with half an hour drinking up time) provided a function is being held for the benefit of its members. EXCEPTIONS: Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Police will be carrying out random checks of premises.