WE might feel compelled to drink alcohol to celebrate St Patrick's Day this Sunday, whether we want to or not, a study has revealed.
Even those who are teetotal for the rest of the year will feel duty-bound to raise a glass in the name of patriotism as alcohol consumption is romanticised in Irish culture, according to an academic at Northumbria University in England.
Marketing lecturer Matthew Kearney asked 70 Irish people in their 20s and 30s to keep shopping diaries and analyse their feelings about their spending as part of his PhD on attitudes to shopping.
He then conducted in-depth interviews with a third of those who took part.
Everyone who took part in the research celebrated St Patrick's Day.
Even those who said they were teetotal the rest of the year felt compelled to drink alcohol to celebrate St Patrick's – a day when it is estimated that more than 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed around the world.
Mr Kearney, originally from Coleraine, said: "Alcohol consumption, when placed in the context of Ireland, becomes instantly romanticised."