According to the 2011 census there were 121,307 Roman Catholics in the area at census time. A further 7,022 were adherents of other stated religions (e.g. Church of Ireland, Islam, Presbyterian, Orthodox), while 5,006 persons indicated that they had no religion.
In April 2011 Limerick had a population of 134,703, consisting of 67,868 males and 66,835 females. The population of pre-school age (0-4) was 10,475, of primary school going age (5- 12) was 14,716 and of secondary school going age (13-18) was 10,593. There were 15,792 persons aged 65 years and over. The number of persons aged 18 years or over was 100,797.
Limerick is considered to be a very religious city [mainly Catholic] but rugby appears to be taking over as the major local religion as you can see from the ‘Good Friday Disagreement’ discussed below.
The Good Friday closure controversy or Good Friday Disagreement refers to the 2010 court case which saw publicans in Limerick, Ireland apply to be exempted from the prohibition on selling alcohol on Good Friday of that year.
The case came about following the scheduling of a Celtic League rugby union match between Munster and Leinster at Thomond Park in the city on 2 April 2010 which coincided with Good Friday that year. Pubs in Ireland are normally not permitted to open on either Good Friday [this restriction will be removed by next Goof Friday] or Christmas Day. This law, dating from 1927, also originally included Saint Patrick's Day, though that prohibition was later repealed. Drinkers often dodge the law by taking to trains, upon which alcohol is allowed, and having their parties there. In 1910, pubs in Athlone faced a similar dilemma about opening on Saint Patrick's Day but remained closed.
The match had sold out by the time the court application took place. It was due to kick off at 20:05 and television rights had already been agreed. Vintners argued that Limerick publicans stood to lose revenue valued at around €6 million or as much as €10 million if they were prevented from opening for business as normal. The State and the Garda Síochána opposed a change. It was considered a landmark case even before it had begun, and at the end was hailed as an "historic ruling", and a watershed in Church-State relations.
The vintners won and pubs were permitted to do business on Good Friday in the Republic of Ireland for the first time since 1927 (though only in Limerick). Commentators such as Ian O'Doherty in the Irish Independent expressed disappointment that it would still be illegal to sell alcohol in Dublin on the same day.
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