In the midst of Holy Week, Tipperary hurling star Lar Corbett has found himself in the middle of a holy row. As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter, Corbett used a picture of Jesus to advertise that his bar would be celebrating Good Friday by selling drinkers cheap booze. The controversial advert shows Jesus holding a pint of beer. As reported by The Sun, Jesus is pictured saying: “Thank God it’s Good Friday. Pubs open, let’s celebrate.”
The cheeky advert even invites social media users the chance to win a “free bar” if they bring a bus load of friends to Lar Corbett’s and Coppinger’s bar in Thurles, Co Tipperary. As reported by the Daily Mirror, Corbett is celebrating the fact that bars in Ireland will be allowed to open on Good Friday for the first time in 90 years. Ireland is still a fairly conservative country and the Roman Catholic church still holds considerable political power. Traditionalists fought hard to stop bars being allowed to open on Good Friday as the day has always been one of the most strictly observed Christian festivals in the country.
Whilst Corbett, and doubtless his customers, are clearly delighted that he will be allowed to open on Good Friday, many are upset by his use of Jesus to advertise cheap booze.
Michael Healy-Rae, a member of the Irish parliament, who had opposed the lifting of the Good Friday booze ban was not amused.
“Using an image of Jesus like that, I wouldn’t agree with it. I’m up for the craic but it is not tasteful. I am a traditionalist.”
“Also having a drinks promotion on Good Friday, it is his business, but I wouldn’t agree with it.”
Mr. Healy-Rae wasn’t the only Irish politician annoyed by the use of Jesus to promote a cheap booze promotion on Good Friday. Senate member Ronan Mullen called the advert “tacky.”
When contacted about the advert, Corbett said that he didn’t mean to cause any offense and was just having a bit of fun. His business partner Kevin Coppinger added that “back in the day Jesus would have had a few drinks.” Somewhat amusingly Corbett replaced the advert with another showing the devil with a pint and stating “better the devil you know than the angel you don’t.”