Irish minister pours cold water on Diageo's drinks celebration

Alex White says the firm has 'invented Arthur’s Day' as a 'pseudo-national holiday'

An Irish minister has criticised drinks firm Diageo for inventing a “pseudo-national holiday” to market its products, not least Guinness – part of a growing backlash against “Arthur’s Day”.

Diageo began the celebration in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of the opening of Arthur Guinness’s first brewery in Dublin. This year it will be marked in 32 countries with events including free concerts.

Alex White, a junior minister responsible for alcohol, said: “It seems to me that Diageo has invented Arthur’s Day as a pseudo-national holiday for the purposes of marketing.”