Great day for Ireland or marketing masterclass


“IT’S A great day for Ireland,” enthuses Sharon Malone (22) in Harry’s on King Street. Between sips of the black stuff she explains how Arthur’s Day really ought to be a bank holiday, with parades, outfits and whatever you’re having yourself.

Her sister, Donna (25), agrees. “It’s our biggest and best export,” she says of Guinness. “We don’t appreciate it enough in Ireland.”

For the past three years Diageo has been giving a masterclass in how to fabricate a national holiday.

Where Christianity colonised seasonal pagan feasts, applying its own theological symbolism and significance, Arthur’s Day takes an a la carte attitude to traditional holidays.

While other festivals offer an excuse for a drink, Diageo made the drink an excuse for a festival.

Danny Wilson (23), enjoying a pint on Aungier Street, doesn’t buy into the whole thing. “It was alright when they did it the first day,” he says, referring to Guinness’s 250th anniversary in 2009, “but now it’s a bit stupid . . . You can tell they’ve run out of ideas.”

But for Isaac Macias (31) from Spain, the day is going from strength to strength. “I love it,” he beams. “It’s better than St Patrick’s Day.”