I don't know if it is still the case, but there was a time when Ireland had a rather odd law regarding the opening times of pubs. In effect they could stay open for as long as they wished, but were required to close for at least one hour in each twenty-four. This compulsory hour of closing was known as the "police hour".
The story goes that one hot summer's afternoon a weary traveller entered a country pub and ordered a pint of beer, only to be told by the landlord that he was very sorry but he couldn't serve him just yet because it was the police hour, the one hour in each day when he was required to close the bar.
"But," continued the landlord sympathetically, "it's only another forty minutes. Why don't you just sit down and rest yourself? You look worn out."
The weary traveller sank down into a seat and heaved a deep sigh. The landlord paused for a moment, contemplated the man and then said:
"Would you like a drink while you're waiting?"
I do hope this story is true.