Saturday 21 October 2017

World goes green and everyone wants to be Irish for one day

New York City correction officer Joseph Santos carries the Tricolour as he marches on 5th Avenue (REUTERS)
New York City correction officer Joseph Santos carries the Tricolour as he marches on 5th Avenue (REUTERS)

The world proudly turned green as virtually everyone on the planet wanted to be Irish - even if for just 24 hours.

Tourism Ireland and the Government hailed the 'Global Greening' campaign as the most successful yet, with almost 270 major monuments and buildings worldwide illuminated in green to mark St Patrick's Day.

A total of 44 countries participated in the 2017 promotion - this was a far cry from the 2010 launch initiative when just a handful of countries featured with just two major global monuments outside the US, Auckland's Sky Tower and Sydney's Opera House.

Yesterday, green lights transformed the most famous structures and monuments on the planet including Niagara Falls on the US-Canada border; the Empire State Building and OneWorld Tower in New York; London's City Hall; the iconic Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro; Budapest's famous Chain Bridge; Montjuic in Barcelona, Rome's Colosseum; Shanghai's Disneyland Castle; Las Vegas casinos and China's Great Wall. Even an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft at Addis Ababa airport was illuminated in green.

Outside of the campaign, numerous US cities including New York and Chicago dyed their rivers green to honour St Patrick's Day.

This year, Tourism Ireland decided to raise a few eyebrows with some of the newest additions to its 'greening' list.

These included four over-sized monuments in Australia including the Big Banana, Big Merino (sheep), Big Kangaroo and even the Big Tasmanian Devil.

But the worldwide celebration of all things Irish has paid dividends in terms of soaring numbers of tourists to Ireland over the past five years.

Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons said the initiative, now in its eighth year, has proved an incredible success.

"St Patrick's Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us," he said.

The Duchess of Cambridge takes a drink of Guinness as she meets with soldiers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards following their St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow (REUTERS/Richard Pohle)
The Duchess of Cambridge takes a drink of Guinness as she meets with soldiers of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards following their St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow (REUTERS/Richard Pohle)

"This year the 'Global Greening' is bigger and better than ever and we think underlines the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News