THOUSANDS have poured into Melbourne’s biggest and best Irish pubs to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, desperate for a taste of Ireland’s annual cultural and religious holiday.
A sea of green filled P.J. O’Brien’s in Southbank, with almost two and half thousand revellers joining the festivities throughout the day, with just as many pints of the country’s iconic Guinness alone chugged down, according to Duty Manager, Cian O’Neill.
“Guinness alone, I’d say two and a half thousand pints roughly…maybe another two, three thousand on top of that of other beers,” he said.
But despite the all-day, non-stop drink-athon, it’s a day soaked purely in celebration.
“(The crowd’s been) excellent, everyone’s loving it.
“It’s a great day…Paddy’s day everyone’s always well behaved, everyone’s in good spirits, everyone’s happy,” he added.
Dedicated and eager patrons piled in early for a day which is firmly marked on the calendars of some, as the celebrations at P.J. O’Brien’s kicked off in time for breakfast.
“I was (late). I got here at 8:45,” an officer worker, Tim, said.
“I always take it off. Annual leave. My boss knows.
“We come here every year… We usually do twelve hours, so 8:30 to 8:30,” he added.
And as for work the next day?
“I’ll be going.” the words of a man who had certainly done this more than once before.
But not all had such Irish luck in scoring the day off, as Regina – an IT worker and Irish immigrant herself – was one forced to squeeze celebrations in where she could.
“I don’t have today off. I’m on my lunch with my beautiful team members.
However, according to this ex-pat, celebrations weren’t quite as traditionally Irish as what all may think they are.
“Do I think this is what Ireland is like on St Patrick’s Day? No, but its something.” she laughed.
“There’s a family morning on St Patrick’s Day, where you go to a parade… showing your community sports team or playing an instrument.
“And then you generally have St Patrick’s Day lunch where you spend the day with your family, and then you go out with your friends afterwards.”
Its questionable authenticity aside, the wholehearted embrace of everything Irish was enough to bring a tear to this lass’ eye.
“Yes, I did (tear up). It made me very homesick.”
“But it’s been a great moment to bond with my non-Irish colleagues and introduce them to what we do on St Patrick’s day, which is talk and bond and become better friends.”
Is she sure the idea isn’t to ‘drink and drink and become better drinkers’?
To be sure.