Domestic landmarks to join in the global 'greening'
Published 15/10/2012 | 05:00
TRAIN stations, castles and major monuments across the county will join iconic buildings worldwide in going green for St Patrick's Day next year.
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar is writing to all major state bodies asking them to pick Irish landmarks that could turn green for the year of The Gathering.
It comes after President Michael D Higgins last week confirmed the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, would be illuminated with green lighting during next St Patrick's Week.
Mr Varadkar will write to county and city councils, government departments and the Office of Public Works (OPW) asking them to draw up lists of prominent buildings that could follow suit.
Next year's Gathering has been organised by Mr Varadkar's department and is aimed at getting the Irish diaspora around the world to return here for a visit, boosting the tourism industry in turn.
The 'greening' of domestic landmarks would link in with major sites internationally.
World-famous attractions such as the London Eye, the Empire State Building in New York, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sydney Opera House all took part last year.
But the idea of Irish buildings taking part was only floated by Limerick Fine Gael TD Patrick O'Donovan last year.
"It's only right that public buildings and landmarks across Ireland should join in the greening," said Mr Varadkar.
"I'm calling on local authorities, public institutions and businesses to rise to the challenge. If the rest of the world can go green, then so should we," he said.
"Obvious landmarks include Leinster House and Government Buildings and Bank of Ireland on College Green and Liberty Hall, the Customs House, and the Wellington Monument in Dublin.
"Public buildings across Ireland should join in, with town halls being an obvious choice."