End this discrimination now!

COLM LAMBERT

Dear Mister ( or Ms) Equality Officer, I write to bring to your attention a case of blatant discrimination which I currently face on account of a physical inability. You will probably have heard how a court last week ruled that pubs may open in Limerick this coming Friday, Good Friday, to allow thirsty patrons of the Munster v Leinster rugby match to have a pint.

Well, I too would like to go to this match and have a pint either before or afterwards or maybe even both. However, as I will be in work as normal that day, and as it is approximately a three-hour drive to Limerick, I am physically unable to do so. Is this not a case of discrimination by the courts against those of us who don't live close enough to Limerick to be able to get there for a night out?

Surely if people in one part of the country are allowed have a pint on Good Friday, the rest of us should be allowed to do so too? And it's not as though we don't have matches of our own. The Junior ' B' hurling team in my own town have a re-arranged fixture to play that evening. Should these lads and their supporters not be entitled to the option of having a pint after their own game too?

You may also consider this to be a case of discrimination based on religious beliefs. Some may hold the view that closing the country's pubs is a fitting measure on a day laden with such significance for their religious beliefs. But not everybody shares those beliefs, so why make them abide by the same rules? I could point out that most of those who think the pubs should be closed won't eat meat this Friday either. But your local shop will still sell you a pack of rashers if you want them. Why can your local pub not sell you a nice refreshing pint?

And yes, we know those arguments that 'surely you can go without a drink for just one day'. Of course we can. Personally, I go without drink on the vast majority of days, and it's very seldom any more that I enter a pub

If Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, and thousands of rugby fans in Limerick can have a pint on Good Friday night, then why can't the rest of us do the same too? on Friday nights at all. But as a responsible and mature adult, I would still like to be able to do so if I choose to do so. I or anybody else shouldn't be discriminated against in this way.

I would appreciate your thoughts. Yours sincerely, Thirsty sports fan.

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