Chauffeur-driven Rory McIlroy among the revellers for Arthur's Day celebrations
SUPERSTAR golfer Rory McIlroy tried to keep a low profile as he partied in Dublin as part of the celebrations for Arthur's Day today.
The casually dressed Ulsterman arrived with a small entourage but without girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki as he slipped into Whelans on Wexford to watch The Script play their second gig of the evening.
He has been staying in the Westbury Hotel for the past few days with a bunch of pals and arrived at the gig by chauffeur-driven car.
Earlier, The Script had played in the Ivy House pub in Drumcondra to a packed crowd. Other acts performing in Ireland for the festival - now in its fifth year - included Manic Street Preachers and Emelie Sande.
At 17.59 this evening the pints were raised and a celebratory roar of ‘To Arthur!’ .
Hundreds gathered on the cobbled streets of Dublin's Temple Bar with pints in hand.
Irish and tourists alike donned emerald green hats and face-paint for an organised pub event, in a scene not unlike St Patrick’s Day.
Garda presence was high from the early evening, following the announcement that drinks firm Diageo would pay for an additional Garda presence on the streets tonight.
“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.”
A Garda spokesperson told Independent.ie that the evening was quiet and there were no major incidents to report.
The relatively-new celebration has come under intense scrutiny from advocacy groups who are concerned at the level of alcohol and drunkenness the day inspires.
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 promised to spend part of tonight in an A&E room but the idea was discarded, with a spokesman dismissing it as “a media circus”.