Drinkers raise bar with Christmas crawl
If you walk into your local pub and notice groups of people in naff jumpers and Santa hats, chances are some are taking part in the “12 pubs of Christmas”. The pub crawl involves participants having a drink in 12 different pubs in one day.
Popular routes in Dublin include the Baggot Mile, which takes in 12 pubs on Baggot Street, or from Dame Street up to Camden Street. The crawl has grown in popularity since 2008, with people participating in many towns in Ireland.
A list of pubs is drawn up to make a route that may end in a nightclub. Participants usually have one drink in every pub before moving to the next. Some treat it like a cruel drinking game with strict rules such as left-handed drinking or being forced to do press-ups if any rules are broken. However, for many it’s just a chance to meet up with friends and have fun.
‘12 drinks is a problem’
A campaigner against alcohol abuse has warned that consuming so many drinks in one sitting is hazardous. Joe Barry, professor of population health medicine at Trinity College, said: “We are trying to encourage people to drink to EU averages. Drinking 12 drinks in one session is a problem.”
He warned that people who drink over recommended limits are vulnerable to being attacked and that it can have serious health consequences.
“If you have borderline liver failure and take part in something like this, it will push you over the edge. After that much alcohol, people are likely to drink-drive or get into a car, or more likely to take a risk by getting into a car driven by someone who has drink in their system.”
However, many participants in the pub crawl limit the pace of their drinking and the amount of alcohol they take in.
Sisters Naomi and Ciara Goff from Wexford and their friends were beginning their pub crawl in The Bank pub on Dublin’s Dame Street.
“We did it last year and lasted the 12 pubs. When we do it, we take 45 minutes to an hour in every pub, so it’s paced out nicely. You start at 2pm and finish at 10 or 11pm. It’s nice to go out with the work crowd and do something fun,” said Ciara.
Orla Gavin joined her husband, Niall, and some friends at the Dame Tavern for their pub crawl. “I made it through last year by drinking bottles. Around pub six we may stop off for food,” said Niall.