Sunday, March 20, 2005

Irish in drinking outrage

There were calls for action from all quarters of the community this weekend as the nation absorbed the shocking news of excessive drinking by the people of Ireland throughout the St Patrick's Day festivities.

Gardai announced that over 700 people were arrested on St Patrick's Day itself, a full 15 above the levels expected on an average Thursday in Dublin. At least 13 of those arrested are expected to be charged with public disorder offences, whilst a further 2 are helping Gardai with enquiries after an armed robbery at a petrol station by two suspects described as resembling "leprechauns with a severe sociopathic disorder" by station owner, Mr John Fitzgerald. This follows the unfortunate incidents at Christmas involving the infamous Athlone elves lead by the Border Santa. Sergeant Sam Maguire of Pearse Street commented that armed robberies masquerading under holiday themes of all types were regrettably on the rise, but that the Gardai was working with the hire costume industry on a voluntary code of conduct to reduce this.

The Vintner's Society of Ireland struck a dischordant note when their spokesman, Mr Patrick O'Reilly urged the Irish Tourism Board to take their responsibilities more seriously. "We strongly recommend that the Irish Tourism Board expands their marketing efforts in Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic as a matter of urgency. It's a cold, hard fact that since the downturn in revenue following the nefarious smoking ban, hard pressed publicans need all the help they can get. We all know that the American, English and French visitors that we are currently attracting to the St Patrick's week festivities at present cannot hold their drink. It is therefore imperative that the Irish Tourism Board markets Ireland to harder drinking tourists before jobs are lost." The Irish Tourism Board declined to comment on this so-called "wake-up call".

Photographs of the event are now available.

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