Guinness flows on St Patrick's Day

Last updated 15:45 17/03/2014
 Brendan Gregg
Stacy Squires
BRENDAN GREGG: The Bog's general manager is ready for St Patrick's Day festivities.
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The Guinness is flowing and revellers are decked in green around the city's Irish bars as St Patrick's Day celebrations get under way.

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The beer was already flowing at The Craic in Riccarton by mid-afternoon. Bar owner Marty Fuller said he expected things would continue to pick up this afternoon.

"We get a strong student support here," Fuller said, and thought they would "roll in" once classes were finished for the day.

"I'm sure we'll be rolling into the early hours."

Bailies Bar co-owner Lynne O'Keefe said the day had kicked off at 8.30 this morning with a breakfast. Since lunchtime she said things had been steady and it was "great to see everybody getting into it".

"There's so much green around."

Inspector Peter Cooper said police would treat tonight like a Saturday night, to make sure they had a visible presence around the city.

"We are not quite sure what we'll come across on a Monday night St Patrick's Day."

Cooper said there was certainly a lot more Irish in Christchurch with the rebuild, and he thought that contributed to "a bit more focus around St Patrick's Day in the last few years".

"Enjoy your night, but think about how you manage your alcohol," Cooper said.

He advised people to think ahead and plan their transport and safety for the night. Police would focus on maintaining visibility around the city and enforcing liquor bans.


For three years, engineer and little person Chris Irvine has been moonlighting as Shaun the Leprechaun at bars on March 17.


Folklore says leprechaun's can grant three wishes in certain circumstances.

But Shaun the Leprechaun only has one wish. ''I'd like to get mum back on her feet,'' he says quietly.

Four years ago his mum Jeanette Taylor, now 67,  lay on the operating table to get a hip replacement.

But before they could begin she had a stroke.

Irvine, himself just 1.4m, tried to look after his mum to keep her out of a rest home. But it was difficult.

''I looked after her as long as I could. But it was really hard. She really didn't want to go to a rest home,'' he said.

But there was no one else to help. His 1.83m tall father had died in 1998 from cancer.

But Taylor is now happy at the Parkwood Rest Home and Hospital and is a huge fan of housie.

Today, Irvine decided to surprise his mother with a visit in his full leprechaun costume.



The Bog Irish Bar welcomed revellers from 8am this morning for its first St Patrick's Day since 2010.

The Cashel Mall bar was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, and reopened on the corner of Victoria and Peterborough streets earlier this month.

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Owner Max Bremner said it was great to reopen with those who were regulars in the old bar popping up again.

Bremner said an influx of Irish workers into the city would help increase patronage in the city's Irish bars and pubs.

Earlier today, The Craic's Marty Fuller said the bar had brought in extra Guinness, staff and security with bands playing throughout the day and into the night.

Fuller said the bar went through double the volume of Guinness on St Patrick's Day than it would go through in a typical week, particularly after 5pm.

"It's always a good day. People always enjoy it and it's a good atmosphere."

They would offer a special menu all day, as well as provide various entertainment including Irish dancers.

Since the earthquakes, the bar had been "extremely busy" soaking up those whose watering holes had been damaged or destroyed.

The influx of Irish people to help with the rebuild had boosted the bar's regulars.

"They are great. They enjoy a pint and a laugh . . . they are happy good people."

Fuller expected many punters would jump between bars during the day and night.

- The Press


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