Ambulance calls up 30% on Arthur’s Day


There was a 30 per cent increase in emergency ambulance calls in Dublin city centre last night.

The spike in calls coincided with Arthur ’s Day events which saw thousands of revellers in pubs across the city.

The 30 per cent increase in calls seen by Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service was betweem 6pm and 3am when compared with the previous Thursday night,.

Some Garda stations also reported being very busy dealing with public order issues last night.

Gardai in Galway city last night said they were  “very busy ” dealing with public order issues and that  “the streets  “ were  “packed ”. Asked if the activity was Arthur ’s Day-related, the spokeswoman said  “Definitely ”.

 “It ’s just very busy. There are an awful lot of people out. It ’s the usual thing on a busy night, nothing out of the ordinary, ” she said,

Gardaí in Cork city said it was busier than usual with large crowds outside pubs.  “We ’re up the walls. It ’s drunken students ”.  ” a spokesman said. There were also student events taking place in the city last night.

 “It ’s more like a Saturday night than a Thursday night,” said gardaí in Dublin last night. “There’s nothing major, just the volume of people. ”

It was a different story in Limerick city, however:  “It ’s quiet except for the rain, ” a garda said.

A spokeswoman for Galway University Hospital said activity to the emergency department was  “nothing out of the ordinary ” with volumes  “lower than normal ”.

Arthur ’s Day is organised by drinks company Diageo and consists of a series of hundreds of surprise acts play in pubs and venues across the State. It was first held in 2009 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Guinness brewery being founded in Dublin by Arthur Guinness.

Among the major events last night were Primal Scream performing in the Silver Granite, Palmerstown, Texas playing Smyths Bar, Limerick, Mika in Dún Laoghaire ’s The Graduate and Mumford & Sons at Toners, Dublin.

In a statement Diageo said it promoted responsible drinking and discourage alcohol misuse year round through support of and other campaigns. and was in regular contact with publicans and venue managers.  “As a consequence of these efforts, the overwhelming majority of consumers in Dublin and nationwide behaved responsibly throughout Arthur ’s Day. ”

The events had been criticised by irish artists earlier this week. Singer-songwriter Declan O ’Rourke said Ireland does not need a national day to celebrate alcohol while musician and songwriter Steve Wall described Arthur ’s Day as a  “cynical act in pulling the wool over Paddy ’s eyes ” and  “patronising bollox ”.

There was also criticsim ahead of Arthur ’s Day from the charity Alcohol Action Ireland.

Its chief executive Fiona Ryan said they were  “extremely disappointing ” to tourism bodies and politicians surrounding a marketing initiative to sell more alcohol.

On Sunday, Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar attended the Guinness Storehouse to announce the collaboration involving Guinness, Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus to bring international media to Ireland for the event.