In Ireland criticism is mounting on a recently invented celebration which celebrates the founder of Guinness brewing. Arthur’s Day, officially labelled an annual music event, was first organized by multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo in 2009. Now the Royal College of Physicians has called the event irresponsible and popular Irish musicians like Christy Moore, Steve Wall and The Waterboys have gone on record agreeing with that sentiment. Christy Moore even dedicating his new single to the subject.

This month a Social Media campaign entitled ‘Boycott Arthur’s Day’ began claiming national and international attention. Irish & International Artists and Musicians have given their support to the campaign which calls on Irish Citizens to ‘Say NO to Diageo’s booze fest. Reject the Stereotype’.

Dr Stephen Stewart, a doctor from the liver disease centre in the Mater Hospital told thejournal.ie: “I really have to congratulate Diageo. They have done a great job in drawing people into the pub on Arthur’s Day and increased the problem we have with alcohol.”

“We are on a really bad road here and it’s going to get worse,” adding the promotion of alcohol needs to be a national discussion,” said Dr. Stewart. He also argued that Arthur’s Day is not about music, as Diageo maintains, saying, “this is a festival around drinking, the advert focuses around people raising pints of Guinness – it’s not about music”.

While we’re on the subject of music, below are the lyrics to Christy Moore’s new song Arthur’s Day:

Diageo Diageo have mounted a Crusade
creating Arthur’s Day they’ve suckered us into their charade
start ’em off on Alco-Pops tastes just like lemonade
get ’em into the hit while they’re young and none the wiser

Diageo pump the volume up on Arthur’s Day
with The Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Tom Jones and David Gray
to flog their alcohol they’re revvin’ the youngsters up for a mighty spree
Twitter and Facebook tellin them where The Mumfords ‘r gonna be[/i]

Happy Happy Happy Happy Arthur’s Day
Its such . . . a Happy Clappy Advertisin’ Scheme
Drink sensibly they implore us, as their Hosannas sound a never-ending chorus
‘n kids get hooked on the fantasies that flash before us

Arthurs Alcoholiday is comin round again
he’s the patron saint of porter canonized by the Advertisin’ Men
the medics in the ambulance ‘ll be workin overtime,
the A&E ‘ll be like a drunk tank in the firing line
while Diageo goes AWOL at closing time.

Source: The Journal 09/23/13
Alcohol Action Ireland 09/13

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