Drunken St Pat's Day revellers told 'stay home'
TD Michael Ring has advised St Patrick's Day revellers intent on drinking to excess to avoid "destroying the day for others" by staying at home.
Speaking at the launch of the St Patrick's Day Festival in Trinity College's dining hall last night, Mr Ring stressed that the national holiday was, ultimately, a family day out and not a day for drinking.
"That's not the image we want... I say to the spoilsports if you can't enjoy the day without destroying it for others than you should stay home," he said.
"We want to focus on the culture and talent... this is a family day and a family festival."
The minister went on to say that most countries would "give their right arm and their right leg" to have a national day celebrated on such a global scale.
"There is no other country that New York City stops for," he said. "We should be proud of that."
The organisers of this year's festival are confident the 2015 Grand Marshal, Brendan O'Carroll, will help draw more overseas tourists to our shores this year.
Festival director Susan Kirby predicted over 145,000 tourists will arrive in Ireland over the course of the festival, injecting a predicted €122m into the economy.
"We should see a growth in overseas visitors from last year, especially with the popularity of Brendan O'Carroll. I can see lots of people getting out to see him," Kirby said.
The theme of this year's parade is 'Celebrate Now'.