Legislation to end the 90-year prohibition on pubs opening on Good Friday has passed all stages in the Seanad.

The Intoxicating Liquor (Amendment) Bill was introduced by independent Senator Billy Lawless, who said today sends a message that "Ireland is a pluralist, globalist, forward-thinking country.

"In my mind the passage of today's bill is another progressive step in Ireland's long journey in the separation of church and State.

"It is understandable when lawmakers try to introduce legislation that changes a practice that has been in place for almost 100 years, people pause to reflect, yet this is what lawmaking is about.

"There is an affinity to the closed day but that affinity is in fact leading to alcohol abuse in many cases."

Senator Lawless pointed out that the legislation applies beyond pubs and all restaurants and other licensed premises will be able to open on Good Friday after the bill is passed through the Dáil and signed into law by the President.

He said that to reduce binge drinking in Ireland we need to reduce low cost alcohol from licensed premises.