While I have some sympathy with the publicans of Northern Ireland in their plea for adjustments to the licensing laws over Easter, I also wonder how our public transport system manages to get away with running a Saturday service for what, in effect, is five days in a row.
Surely it would make sense that all those drunks across the province, which the publicans insist are imbibing in other locations than on their premises, are able to get home safely of a spring evening?
How many unsteady souls have been left at bus stops and rural railway halts, vainly waiting for buses and trains which, alas, only arrive when the patrons have sobered up sufficiently not to want to go home at all?
This is not to speak of the entirely voluntary impulse of much of the retail sector simply to shorten their hours, or close completely over the holiday period, no matter what the public may wish.
It should be noted that the Ulster Museum, for example, though usually closed on Mondays, actually opens on Bank Holiday Mondays.
If only the private sector were as accommodating to the public needs as the museum.
It couldn't be that the cost of staff overtime would prohibit extended hours, even if the licensing laws were relaxed?