World to go green for St Patrick’s Day

More than 300 stadiums, statues, museums and towers worldwide are set to go green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day next month.

Brendan Griffin, minister of state for tourism and sport, and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism and Ireland. Picture: Sam Boal/

The Space Needle, now recognised as the symbol of Seattle in the US and one of the most recognisable structures in the world, will join the global greening line-up.

And joining Tourism Ireland’s global greening for the first time is Chimo, the polar bear statue in Ontario, a significant roadside attraction in Canada.

The fountains in London’s Trafalgar Square will go green for the first time, as will the San Mamés Stadium, the home of Athletic Club Bilbao in Spain. And making a welcome return this year — the first time since 2014 — is the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Among the famous buildings turning 50 shades of green for the first time this year is the Palais de l’Europe, the seat of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.

The Christ the Redeemer statue above Rio de Janeiro will go green again this year.

In Japan, the Yokohama Marine Tower will be turning green for the first time, as will the Pen Monument in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Israel, and Vabaduse Valjak (Freedom Square) in Tallinn, the capital and largest city in Estonia.

The new sites will join some ‘old favourites’ that have gone green in previous years, including the two of Italy’s most famous buildings, the Colosseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Sacré-Cour Basilica and the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Paris, France go green once more as will the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, the London Eye, and Niagara Falls — the three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the US.

Tourism Ireland’s photo of how Niagra Falls will look on St Patrick’s Day.

Tourism Ireland’s unique global campaign, now in its ninth year, continues the organisation’s first-half promotional drive to build on last year’s success and grow overseas tourism to the island of Ireland again this year.

The minister of state for tourism and sport, Brendan Griffin, who was at the launch of the global greening line-up for St Patrick’s Day in Dublin yesterday, said it is a significant worldwide remainder of the national celebration and of Ireland. Mr Griffin said the Government’s Promote Ireland programme of international events over the St Patrick Day celebration will see the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, ministers, and the chief whip take part in schemes to promote Ireland and Irish interests in nearly 40 countries.

Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons said more than 70m people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland, and St Patrick’s Day is an opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.

The London Eye, pictured on St Patrick’s Day 2016, will green up once again next month.

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