Green Lights: See the landmarks going green for St Patrick's Day!
290 landmarks turn the lights on
Some 300 global landmarks are going green this weekend in a burst of publicity worth an estimated €10 million to Irish tourism.
That's according to Tourism Ireland, whose annual 'Global Greening' initiative has grown year after year since its debut in 2010.
Back then, just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green. This year, 290 sites in 50 countries are taking part.
New 'greenings' for 2018 include the $4 billion Mario M. Cuomo Bridge crossing the River Hudson in New York, Tower 42 in London, the Luxur Obélisque at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, and the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao.
They join old favourites like Rome's Colosseum, Canada's Niagara Falls and Chicago's Navy Pier, which have gone green in previous years.
Other, quirkier additions include a lion statue in Kenya made from re-cycled flip flops, a giant Blue Whale skeleton in London's Natural History Museum, and a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Lapland.
Here at home, Adare Manor has gone green, and the OPW is greening heritage sites and state buildings for the duration of the St Patrick's Festival (March 15-19), including the Rock of Cashel, Áras an Úactaráin (see gallery) and Quin Abbey in Co. Clare.
An #OPWGoesGreen competition is encouraging social media users to share snaps of the buildings, with 10 family Heritage Cards up for grabs.
Last year, the Global Greening generated international media coverage worth around €10 million, Tourism Ireland told Independent.ie Travel.
Thus far in 2018, the initiative has cost around €26,000, it says.
"St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us," said Niall Gibbons, Tourism Ireland's CEO.
"Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage,” he added.
The marketing drive comes as CSO data reported a 3.5pc increase in overseas visitors last year (to almost 10 million), with revenue rising by 6.5pc to €6.5 million - as compared to just over €6 million the previous year.
NB: This gallery is being updated as photos arrive.