Dublin Senator Catherine Noone has welcomed Diageo’s announcement that Arthur’s Day is no more.
Guinness’ marketing director Stephen O’Kelly had denied that negative press surrounding Arthur’s Day and the issue of binge drinking had any impact on the move to scrap the event.
But Noone was adamant that the event had run its course, with ambulance call outs up one third on event days alone over the past two years.
“Arthur’s Day was developing a bad reputation, with some treating it as yet another excuse to drink excessively. This was never the original intention, so I am glad that Diageo has decided to not go ahead with it again this year,” she said.
“We now need to work on bringing about further education on the dangers of binge drinking, as well as pushing ahead with minimum alcohol pricing. While I commend this move from Diageo, there is still a great deal of work to be done by the drinks sector.
“Time will tell whether ‘Amplify’, Diageo’s new festival, will live up to its commitment to act as a launch pad for up and coming Irish artists, rather than just encouraging people to drink too much, which unfortunately had become the case with Arthur’s Day.
“It’s time we had a more mature, responsible approach to drinking, and I think consigning Arthur’s Day to history is a positive step in that regard.”
Diageo have pledged that they will be putting €1 million into the Irish music industry with a month-long festival to promote emerging artists in their alternative September event ‘Guinness Amplify’.
However, in keeping with Arthur’s Day there is a long list of established stars ready to lend their name to the promoting of the brand, among those already confirmed include Ellie Goulding, Kodaline, Walking on Cars and Daithí.