The Dail has now approved the bill removing the restriction

The ban on pubs opening on Good Friday has been abolished.

The Dáil approved the measure - which was introduced by Independent Senator Billy Lawless - this afternoon.

It is expected to be signed into law by the President before Good Friday this year.

That means alcohol can be sold this Good Friday for the first time in more than 90 years.

Minister of State David Stanton explained said the bill has been drafted to ensure "that the removal of the restriction applies not only to public houses and off-licences, but also to hotels, holiday camps, registered clubs and restaurants".

He added: "The Government believes that the time is right to end the restrictions on the sale of intoxicating liquor on Good Friday."

Donal O'Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, says lifting the ban is long overdue.

"We've been campaigning for several years now to have this amended, we think the law banning the sale of alcohol on Good Friday is completely out of date.

 "There is huge public support for it, there is huge tourism demand for it, and it'd be a terrific day for the pubs of Ireland if the ban is overturned so they are allowed to open this coming Good Friday."

However, Independent Senator David Norris is against the move: