John Creedon swears off alcohol for St Patrick’s Day

 John Creedon's tweet for an alcohol-free St Patrick's Day was greeted by many of his followers, including one who said: 'Glad to hear you speaking out about the drunk elephant in the room.'

RTÉ’s John Creedon has reacted to the neknomination phenomenon by asking his army of listeners to join him in an alcohol-free St Patrick’s Day.

The night-time Radio One presenter first began tweeting about his one- man demonstration against binge drinking and then expanded on the theme on his show on Monday.

“NEK Nominations, Arthur’s Day, Messy Monday,..If you are dreading our national holiday, fight back. Join me in an alcohol-free St.Patrick’s Day.” he tweeted on Monday.

Later he said: “I’ve found most of my favourite pubs have little to offer on St. Patrick’s Day anyway”, and he added it was “really frustrating to see people being manipulated at any level and not being able to say ‘No, thanks. Keep it’”.

Many of his Twitter followers registered their support, with one tweeting: “Glad to hear you speaking out about the drunk elephant in the room”.

Yesterday, Creedon stressed that he was “not a party pooper” but that while he was a very social man, attending music events every week, he said “the difficulty I have is with the level of messiness”.

He said trends such as the 12 pubs of Christmas and the more recent phenomenon of neknominations had prompted his one-day protest action.

“It is not from some kind of conservative, party-pooper position. What I am talking about here is personal responsibility.

“Up to recent years people were introduced to pub culture in a subtle way — you were served draft beer in a pub setting, that you could get away with a couple of pints in an adult environment and under the beady eye of the bar owner.

“In the last 20 years in particular, the introduction to alcohol has been totally different.”

He said he was a huge admirer of St Patrick and had studied some of his writings and said he loved a few beers, but this year “I am putting a ring around that day”.

“It is my own private little thing,” he said, adding that he was both “encouraged” and surprised” at the generally positive reaction.

“I thought I would have a lot more people having a pop at me.”

Elsewhere, alternatives to neknominations have begun to take hold, such as replacing drinking alcohol with random acts of kindness, termed raknominations.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin suggested people joining the #NekDonate campaign, launched by Ógra Fianna Fáil, that urges young people to donate a pint of blood instead of necking a pint of alcohol.

NY parade: Mayor pulls out

By John Riordan

For the first time in 20 years, the mayor of New York will not march in the city’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Bill de Blasio, who took over the office from Michael Bloomberg on January 1, said yesterday that he would sit out the Fifth Avenue festivities on March 17 because of the organising committee’s refusal to allow participants to carry gay pride signs.

According to the committee, members of the gay community are welcome to walk in the procession, but are barred from identifying themselves by their sexual orientation. However, that rule goes for all political or activist groupings which is aimed at keeping the parade within strict traditional guidelines.

“No, I am not planning on marching in the parade,” Mr de Blasio said at a press conference. “I will be participating in a number of other events to honour the Irish heritage of this city but I simply disagree with the organisers of that parade.”

His predecessor, Mr Bloomberg, marched every year of his three terms at the helm of the city. The tradition, which is in its 253rd year in New York, is predicted to draw more than 1m people.

In response to an open letter calling for uniformed public sector city workers not to participate in the parade, Mr de Blasio said they should be able to partake if they wish.

There are many other parades in the New York region throughout early March, and one of those, the St Pat’s for All parade, is sure to be attended by the mayor.


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