At 17.59 this evening, millions of easily-led paddies will raise a pint of the black stuff to the sky and participate in the greatest laughing yer way to the bank exercise that the field of marketing has ever seen. It is a good thing that the roar will be heard around the world as it will conceal the equally loud kerr-chink of the tills as millions are spent on pints as the country engages in the greatest encouragement of skulling pints before teatime. Yes, the streets of every town and village in Ireland will ring to the cheers of the pint holders at teatime this evening, just one week after the common noise was the tut-tutting about the pint-skulling exploits of An Taoiseach.
It is a remarkably successful campaign that yields massive profits for Diageo, and one that perhaps should be used in a bid to get us out of the hole we’re in. How much money would save this country? €20 billion or €30 billion would certainly get us back on track to a certain extent, would rid us of the necessity to slash and burn in the December budget and would be enough to tell the banks to feck off.
The success of the Arthur’s Day celebration is down to the showman in all of us, the desire for the grand gesture to show that we’re Irish and proud of it. However, if we used this logic and exported it, we could do a deal with Diageo, charge more for the pint worldwide and use Diageo’s marketing expertise to save the country that created its greatest product.
It is alleged that there are 70 million people around the world who claim to be of Irish heritage. That means that there are roughly 20 times more Irish outside the country than at any time in it. And with the latest emigration figures showing that 65,000 people left the country this year, that ratio is set to grow drastically.
Let’s use Guinness’s marketing clout to send the message worldwide that next year, if you want to “consider yourself ‘wan of the family’, then wherever you are in the world, you can buy an Arthur’s Day share in Ireland. This will cost you €100 and will include a few free pints. Repatriate the money to Ireland and we could get about €10 billion a year back into the country. The money would make us a better place again and give Paddy and Patricia who are working illegally in Boston the chance to come home and rear their families on the auld sod. The Yanks would definitely go for it, as they’re mad for any of that shite ya see in airport shops, bainin sweaters and leprechauns, and bottles of Cliffs of Moher air. So a share in Ireland, they’d wet themselves for.
You needn’t deprive the drinkers of the Chinese whispers Arthur’s Day street experience either. They could toast “To NAMA,” to help get our beloved developers out of the hole they’re in. You could toast “To Nana” if you want the money to go to the HSE and help get Nana off that trolley in Casualty and into a proper bed; and you could toast “To Armagh” to give the Church a few bob to pay off the victims of child abuse. It’s worth a try and who says it can’t work. I mean if we can get a million people to stand in a wet street at teatime and dedicate a drink to Martha, the possibilities are endless.