The event was first held in 2009 by Diageo

The event was first held in 2009 by Diageo

Diageo has defended itself amid criticism in Ireland over its annual Guinness-promoting Arthur's Day. 

Doctors, psychiatrists, youth workers and musicians have voiced concerns about the event, with some suggesting it encourages binge-drinking, the Irish Examiner has reported. One group has even set up a social media campaign calling for the day of events, launched initially in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Guinness lease, to be boycotted, it was reported.

But, in a statement to just-drinks today (24 September), a Diageo spokeperson said the company “implements a strong responsible drinking awareness campaign” around the event and offers “clear advice to pubs creating their own celebrations”. After the first round of Arthur's Day events, Diageo decided to mark the anniversary annually. The global campaign has also seen events in Lagos, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. 

In Ireland this year, around 500 music events will be staged at pubs and venues, Diageo said. “We encourage all 500 participating pubs to give out free water and free food at the larger ticketed venues,” the spokesperson added.