As happens around this time every year it seems well into Lent, stories start appearing amongst most local media outlets about the licensing laws in Northern Ireland.
It appears to many that these laws prohibiting the sales of alcohol over the Easter period is outdated and to some even medieval.
However as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry from a young age for 18 years I can categorically say that I believe that these laws are perfectly fine and do not need adjusting.
Throughout my career Easter has always been a welcoming time to not only have an extended break from work but a chance to profess my faith as a Christian. Getting time off for a Christian service is unfortunately not a God given right!
I’m sure many people who have never had to work in a bar do not understand the unsociable hours that come with it and how this can put restraints on family life.
This short, but excellent break gives us a chance to recuperate and relax.
It’s the only time of the year this really happens as over Christmas we all tend to be exceptionally busy.
What is seen as some as a chance to make money or enhance profits should be viewed differently in my eyes.
Easter is a time for new life and Spring is well into the air, I just hope there is no new life for the licensing laws.
Martin McAuley, Belfast BT9