Rugby without alcohol?
On Good Friday Jesus died and the pubs are shut in Ireland. What’s good about it? One of the biggest Irish rugby fixtures of the year, between Munster and Leinster, has been scheduled for Good Friday, causing outrage among Irish fans. In Ireland, sales of alcohol are banned on Good Friday, so the traditional venue for fans to congregate and cheer their team on is closed. Celtic Rugby, who organise Magrers League fixtures with Setanta Sports, set the date. It suits both teams, as they have European fixtures the following week. Publicans and politicians are fighting for a six-hour exemption to the archaic alcohol ban to enable pubs to open and cash in on the deal. The planned exemption is to cover all licensed pubs in the Limerick area, which is most unfair to the rest of the country.
The local Franciscan Friars have also condemned the date. Brother Sean O’Connor, head of the Moyross friars said
“If you identify yourself as a catholic, then you should be nowhere near Thomand Park or a pub on that day.”
Thousands of fans however, unable to get a ticket for one of the 26,000 sold out seats, wait to see if the pubs will be open. It is unlikely that anyone will be excommunicated, executed or have their children victimised as a result. Not so in other parts of the world.
In Denver, Colorado, the Catholic Archbishop Charles J Chaput is defending a decision not to re-enroll two children to a Catholic school, as it became known that their parents are lesbians. Why they would want their children to be raised as Catholics, I don’t know.
In Iran, Mohammad Amin Valian’s appeal against his death penalty for “moharebeh”, used to punish political protesters, has been rejected. Using moharebeh to defend the regime has been widely critised. A further appeal is still possible.
Back in Ireland again, the police have detained 7 Muslims suspected of plotting to murder the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, whose depiction of the prophet Mohammad caused outrage among Muslims over two years ago.
It’s a crazy world out there. I’m glad I’m an Apathist.