The return of the St Patrick’s Day parade to Dublin is cause for great excitement – and just to make sure the crowds don’t get too drawn, unlicensed people in the city center have been asked to No alcohol sales before 4pm.
there’s really no need for rules like this nowadays. Don’t the great powers realize that we’re not the hounds of last year?
Most of us are no longer drawn to a day in the pub like a pin to a magnet. People walking into town today are more likely to be chasing an espresso than a Jagermeister for their shortcut to refreshment.
While alcohol remains an important part of our national identity – of course, Prince Charles was pictured pulling a pull from the Irish Cultural Center in London this week – behind the scenes, there’s a sense as many of us are getting out on the drunken lane.
In 10 years, maybe 20, I predict we’ll erase our hard-drinking reputation. With each passing Saint Patrick’s Day, we move further from alcohol becoming the center of social life.
I know many people who have cut back recently because it makes them feel better, more ready and able to cope with their day life, and also because they are leading a life of time. and more efficient. We’re becoming more like Californians.
It’s not just the elderly who quit drinking. Young generation in my extended family love to party, but they have other things are going on. For example, a group of 18-year-olds I know are swimming in the sea at 5pm today. At my age, my friends and I were in pubs. But today’s teens are always hyper-connected. No need for a pub to strengthen their social world.
I envy how they can be themselves without getting drunk. When I was young, a date meant being completely contaminated. I remember the summer in San Diego 25 years ago, when an American went on a date with me. I dressed up and drank secretly before with my friends. He was going to take us out for coffee and would suggest going surfing. When he realized I had been drinking, he laughed and said “a crazy Irishman – I should have known”. I just feel so dysfunctional.
I know that, on paper, we are still binge drinkers. A global drug survey in December found the typical Irishman gets drunk 20 times a year. But the data is from 2019 and it’s probably different now.
Finally, Sales figures for December show a sharp drop in beer, cider and wine consumption. Maybe the forced vacation from the locked up pub is what finally showed us that we can find other ways than drinking to get some relaxation and relief.
I have a friend who is an alcoholic and she finds it easier to go to the pub now because there are always a few people who don’t drink. It’s no longer just drivers and pregnant women. It’s also the little things like our local serving of non-alcoholic beer at the tap.
Trends around the world show that people are drinking less and quality is better. Ireland is no different. But since pub culture has played such a big role here, could drinking less mean we’re changing who we are?
A friend of mine has almost stopped drinking in the past three months. He felt it no longer agreed with him and now there was only one oddity. He has lost 7kg and feels like he’s got his life back, even if his friends are a bit resentful and suspicious. He’s afraid he might be more boring, but he’s still as great company as ever.
The question, I suppose, is: Can we switch to drinking like the Spaniards, or choose not to drink, and still keep the Irish in our social lives – despite that, What is this Irish?
Taoiseach, Tánaiste and government ministers are attending embassy functions in 33 countries today to promote this quality. These aren’t just shipbuilding events – they’re really fun.
I have been a diplomat and husband and wife for eight years and have served in many of these positions. The Irish have always performed well. On national days in some countries, you can arrange a tennis session at the end of the day because you already know that it will be chores like work. The invitations will say something like “Cocktail 6-8pm”. For Irish functions, this is only a vague starting point.
They may be flattering us, but other diplomats will say they look forward to St. Patrick’s Day. They certainly lingered. The Irish diaspora will come out, looking forward to chatting, sharing stories and listening attentively. There may be singing and the need to get everyone out at the end, not because they are drunk – although some may already be – but because they want the evening to last as long as possible. They don’t think about what they have to do the next day; they were enjoying themselves in the moment.
I think this is what the Irish mean and it has nothing to do with drinks. If we cut, I hope we stay the same.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/as-we-tone-down-our-trademark-drinking-culture-can-we-hang-on-to-our-irishness-41455505.html As we reduce our signature drinking culture, can we continue to maintain our ‘Irishness’?