Support grows for St Patrick's Day in battle of the Saints

Related tags St patrick Saint patrick's day

A petition to make St Patrick's Day a national bank holiday in the UK has the support of 15,000 people.Six Continents, which owns Irish brand...

A petition to make St Patrick's Day a national bank holiday in the UK has the support of 15,000 people.

Six Continents, which owns Irish brand O'Neill's, set up the campaign last month and received a boost on St Patrick's Day last week.

Bob Cartwright, communications director for the company, said: "The English have proved that they really enjoy celebrating St Patrick's Day and like any excuse to party."

All nationalities were out in force last week to celebrate Ireland's national day.

Waxy O' Connors in central London reported that trade was much busier than usual and Irish pub the Porterhouse in London's Covent Garden was also packed out. Licensee Myra Hughes said: "It was an absolutely superb weekend."

Despite the popularity of St Patrick's Day, just over two-thirds of licensees would prefer to see St George's Day become a bank holiday, according to a poll on this month (see below)​.

Bedford brewer Charles Wells, in partnership with The Publican, last month launched a new campaign called "The Value of St George". It is hoped that if licensees come on board, April 23 could be as big as St Patrick's Day, meaning a huge increase in profits for the trade.

TV critic Garry Bushell has put his weight behind the campaign. He told The Publican: "For the last few years I've been campaigning to make TV programmes recognise the day and raise its profile. Pubs should give it their full backing because at the end of the day they are the hub of the community."

How you voted

We asked which patron saint's day you would rather see turned into a Bank Holiday. This is how you voted:
St George's Day:​ 68 per cent
St Patrick's Day:​ 25 per cent
Neither:​ 7 per cent

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