Monday 23 October 2017

Arthur’s Day: Diageo confirms ‘contribution’ for extra policing

Group dismisses plans to visit A&E as ‘media circus’

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

DRINKS firm Diageo will pay for an additional Garda presence on the streets tonight for the Arthur’s Day celebrations.

“In preparation for Arthur’s Day we cooperate closely with local authorities and other public authorities including An Garda Siochana,” said a spokesperson for the firm.

“As with all large scale music events we work closely with An Garda Siochana and provide a contribution.”

Now in its fifth year, the celebration has come under intense scrutiny from advocacy groups who are concerned at the level of alcohol and drunkenness the day inspires.

It has been suggested that Diageo foot the bill for alcohol-related illnesses that stem from the day’s drinking - but European corporate relations director Peter O'Brien said the firm is not responsible if people end up drunk.

"The reality is people make choices, and some people choose to over-drink, and they end up in A&E," he said in a radio interview earlier this week.

Mr O’Brien had spoken of his intention to spend part of tonight in an A&E room but it is now unclear whether he will – with a spokesman dismissing it as “a media circus”

Meanwhile, Diagoe said it takes “its responsibility very seriously” when it comes to the aftermath of Arthur’s Day celebrations.

“[Diageo]is proactive in dealing with An Garda Siochana and local authorities around the issue of policing and clean up,” a spokesman said.

The drinks company has also confirmed a partnership with taxi service HAILO “to ensure people get home safe” after ‘raising a glass’ to Arthur this evening.

A variety of Irish artists play in local pubs tonight to mark the Arthur’s Day celebrations including The Script, The Original Rudeboys, Dublin chart toppers Kodaline, and Meath indie rock outfit Ham Sandwich.

Other international acts coming to the event include Manic Street Preachers, Emeli Sandé, and Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro.

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