The St Patrick’s Day ban on off licences selling alcohol is “very important for our international image”, a Lunchtime Live listener has said.
Off licences in the city centre have been asked not to sell alcohol until 4pm on St Patrick’s Day to reduce the chance of drunken revellers disrupting the parade.
An Garda Síochána said it would help them police the parade and Lunchtime Live listener, Kim, said it described it as a “fantastic idea”.
“The St Patrick’s Day parade is synonymous with Ireland - it is televised all over the world,” she said.
“We have a huge number of visitors here, it’s very important for our international image that we’re not seen in the light that on street drinking presents us.”
Drinking on the street is illegal in Ireland and Kim was scathing about those who enjoy it.
“People who are willing to drink on the street in this weather generally have a problem with alcohol anyway,” she said.
“Not everyone - but the majority of people who come into the city centre a lot of them have [a problem].
“You don’t sit in the rain and drink in the streets for a nice pleasant social occasion. The weather is absolutely awful at the moment.”
Another listener, David, said he didn’t think the ban would work.
“If someone wants to get drink from an off licence, surely to God, they’re not that stupid?” he said.
“They can fill up the day before… So, it doesn’t make any sense to ban it for a few hours. They can get drink elsewhere.”
He also said he thought it sent the wrong message to international visitors.
“It’s actually highlighting the Irish culture of drinking even more,” he said.
“With social media, St Patrick’s Day is an international day really because Americans do it… and it’s going to get out - if it hasn’t already - that the Irish off licences are banning alcohol on the day of the national holiday.
“It’s just highlighting myths that the Irish are there for drinking and drinking only.”
Last year, an estimated 400,000 people attended St Patrick’s Day events in Dublin, boosting the city’s economy by around €50 million.
Main image: St Patrick's Day in Dublin. Picture by: Alamy.com