Entertainment St Patrick's Day

Saturday 25 May 2019

Dublin businesses appeal to St Patrick's Day revellers to 'take it easy' during celebrations

The Temple Bar Company is asking Gardai to crackdown on public drinking in the area
The Temple Bar Company is asking Gardai to crackdown on public drinking in the area
Thousands of people are expected to cramp their way into the popular tourist spot

David Kearns

Dublin businesses have asked the Gardai to increase their presence on the streets on St Patrick's Day.

‘Raise a glass but don’t lower the tone’ is the message behind an appeal from The Temple Bar Company this St Patrick’s Day.

The group, which represents businesses and arts groups in one of the Capital’s most popular tourist spots, asking party goers to ‘take it easy’.

“There are almost 67 off licences within a five minute walk of Temple Bar, so we need to get the message out, on street drinking is only permitted in licensed approved areas,” said Temple Bar Company CEO, Martin Harte.

“[The area] attracts thousands of visitors over the course of the St Patricks Festival, for the majority of these visitors they are used to being able to drink in public places in their home countries and therefore it’s a public awareness campaign to educate them that such behaviour is illegal in Dublin.”

The Temple Bar Company has asked Gardai to increase their presence on parade day.

Last month, Tourism Minister Michael Ring appealed for a “drunkenness-free celebration”.

Despite perceptions that St Patrick’s Day is a day for heavy drinking, celebrations in Ireland have been peaceful over the past few years.

There were no major public order incidents in Dublin last St Patrick’s Day, according to Garda figures.

“Just because it is St Patrick’s Day, doesn’t mean that the rules don’t apply,” a Garda spokesperson said.

“Drinking on the streets of Dublin is illegal and Gardai on patrol will take appropriate action against those found in breach of this.”

Ahead of the St Patricks Day bank holiday, Gardai and the Road Safety Authority have appealed to road users to be responsibility.

New figures show that over the past five years, on average, twice as many drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving on both St Patricks Day and the day after, compared to any other day in March.

Some 15 people lost their lives and a further 30 people were seriously injured in road collisions between 16th-18th March, between 2010 and 2014.

“Obviously we want everyone to enjoy the festivities that will take place around the country, but please remember that if you are celebrating and consuming alcohol, leave the car behind. This not only applies to the day itself, but also the morning after,” said Garda Chief Superintendent Mark Curran.

“It is simply unacceptable to see that the number of drivers arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving doubles over what should be a joyous couple of days."

This year, 29 people have lost their lives on Irish roads, five road deaths less than this date last year. Some 196 people lost their lives on Irish roads in 2014.

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