Shoppers speak their minds on Arthur’s Day

One Dubliner ‘adores’ the event while another welcomes debate on drinking


With much talk about the pros and cons of raising a glass to Arthur Guinness on Thursday we took to the streets of Dublin and asked shoppers ‘What is the fuss about?’. Just one out of seven shoppers in our vox pop had very strong views on Arthur’s Day - andthe holder of those views was very firmly in favour of the event.

Lukas Hennessy was listening to his iPhone on the steps of St Andrew’s church on Suffolk Street when The Irish Times stopped by. “I’m firmly in favour” he said, “it is great craic. There are acts in loads of the pubs and you don’t know where they are”. So it is a kind of entertainment treasure hunt, we asked. “Yeah it is great for getting you out”, Mr Hennessy replied.

But did he not think another excuse for a night in the pub was the last thing Irish people needed? “No I adore it” he said.

Kimberly Tyan of Dundalk who was in Dublin shopping with her mother Carol and son Cillian was happen to discuss the issue. “I think it is good,” she said, adding a firm “no” to the question “do you not think we Irish have enough festivals and holidays”. Ms Tynan said she figured the day “did a bit for Guinness” but didn’t think it had too bad an impact on the general population.

Italian Michele Casali from the Lake Como area said Arthur’s day was “a good occasion to stay and drink Guinness”. Yes, he had heard of the concern over the promotion of alcohol, he said, “but it is not too much. It is a social event” he said.

Andrew McDermott from Clondalkin said he had never gone out specifically for Arthur’s Day, as the city centre was not a good place to be when crowds were out partying. But had the creation of a special day for drinking in honour of a beer even given him cause for concern. He said he did not know when Arthur’s’s Day was this year. “No” he said, adding that he had never gone out to drink more then usual because of Arthur’s Day.

Similarly unmoved by the day that is in it was Ciara O’Meara from Dublin who had never gone to an Arthur’s Day celebration. She did know that the day was on September 26th, but may be working on the evening in any event.

Ciara Kinsella from Dublin said she had gone to an Arthur’s’s Day celebration in the past but couldn’t say if she would go out again. A digital media student from Blanchardstown she said Arthur’s Day was probably a good media campaign.

However Declan Molyneux originally from Terenure but now living in Kent, was marginally critical of Arthur’s Day. “No I don’t celebrate it” he said. Yes he did think the last thing the Irish needed was another night of drinking “but at least it seems to have stirred up a debate about drinking”, he said.

This year Arthur’s Day will be celebrated in 32 countries on Thursday September 26th. Among the acts which will be giving surprise performances are The Script, James Vincent McMorrow, The Original Rudeboys, Kodaline, Ham Sandwich, Manic Street Preachers, Emeli Sandé, Janelle Monáe, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro and the legendary Bobby Womack, will also be performing scheduled and impromptu gigs around the country.