Question to ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport:
To ask if he will provide details of Greening events on St Patrick’s Day to promote Irish tourism; if particular efforts will be made to separate the celebration of St Patrick’s Day events which receive State support from the promotion of alcohol; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Jerry Buttimer.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 19th February, 2013.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Leo Varadkar):
I propose to take questions 111,126,159,773 and 781 together. These relate to the St Patrick’s Day “Global Greening” initiative.
Tourism Ireland recently publicised details of their 2013 “Global Greening” initiative. The initiative helps to create a supportive backdrop against which Tourism Ireland can run its targeted marketing programmes. Among the landmarks going green this year are the Pyramids of Giza, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Sydney Opera House and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I also understand that the St. Patrick’s Festival Company will again organise a greening programme for some landmark venues in Dublin, such as Trinity College, Bank of Ireland on College Green, and Christchurch Cathedral.
Given that 2013 is the year of The Gathering, I am, in conjunction with Minister of State Brian Hayes,encouraging a wider programme of “greening” of public buildings at home. This will help to publicise the Gathering and enhance the visitor experience for those visiting the country during the period around the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I have also invited my Ministerial colleagues, the local authorities, bus and rail companies and airports to green prominent buildings in their care and the Gathering Team are disseminating the concept through their network across the country. A number of high profile buildings have been confirmed already and, together with Minister of State Hayes, I hope to make an announcement on the subject over the coming weeks.
In relation to alcohol sponsorship, I understand that the St. Patrick’s Festival Company, which organises the national parade and related events in Dublin, has a policy of not seeking sponsorship from the alcohol sector.