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Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring ran out of beer at his Mansion House parties and was forced to ask for reinforcements, after guests made their way through 10,500 free pints in record time.
A tradition which has stood for decades sees Diageo, the makers of Guinness as well as other popular beers, provide Dublin’s mayor’s office with 120 kegs of beer per year.
Only in office since June 2018, self-described man of the people Ring invited groups of locals to gatherings at his residence in Ireland’s Mansion House where, by January 2019, they swallowed a full year’s allocation.
At 120 kegs that’s a lot of booze but Ring’s guests rose admirably to the task, enjoying Guinness as well as Budweiser, Carlsberg and Smithwicks.
When that supply was exhausted, the Irish Times reports that Ring’s office went back to Diageo, who kindly coughed up another 30 kegs for free. However when this, too, was dry by March of this year, Dublin City Council (and Ireland’s taxpayers) coughed up over $22,500 for another 71 barrels, the Times reports .
If any of them would like to give me a call and throw in a few kegs, I’ll certainly be able to get through them and I’ve proven that
Ring has stood by the junkets, saying he wished to invite average Dubliners to the Mansion House to reward them for being, well, Dubliners. Defending earlier criticism of his spending, he said in February he was “delighted” the Mansion House had run out of beer, and added that if smaller breweries (besides the giant Guinness operation) wanted to send free beer his way, that would be great.
“If any of them would like to give me a call and throw in a few kegs, I’ll certainly be able to get through them and I’ve proven that,” he told The Journal in February .
Undaunted by the begrudgers, the Times reports that on May 8, just before recent local elections, Ring invited the patrons from four of his favourite Dublin pubs to the Mansion House, where they were plied with the best (free) beer he had to offer.
Described as “an evening of entertainment, refreshments, food and music,” Ring defended the latest freebie by telling the Times that one of the bars was the highly deserving Bridge Tavern, “a pub I have drank in for 40 years.”
Voting in the local and European elections is on May 24, and Ring has been forced to deny that the nights on the hooch were in any way designed to loosen the locals’ voting preferences.
Ring previously told the Times he would be “horrified” to think that people believed he had plied his constituents with beer so that they would favour him. His rotating term as mayor ends in June, but he has long stood as an independent councillor in Dublin’s north inner city.
In a statement to iNews on the latest spending, Ring said:
“It was a priority of my term to open the Mansion House to the people of Dublin and ensure as many citizens of the city who wished to visit should be able to do so — 35,000 visitors have been in the Mansion House to date. There is a cost involved in welcoming visitors, whether it’s a cup of tea or a glass of beer or wine.
“Mansion House belongs to the people of Dublin and I am glad to have been able to welcome an unprecedented number of them to their House over the past 11 months.”
On social media, reaction has been scornful, with users keen to point out that the free beer is both a waste of taxpayer money and an easy stick to beat the Irish with.
I want a Mayor who re diverts beer money to homeless services & sick kids please. Not this dude. https://t.co/Gui5474gy0— Taryn De Vere (@TarynDeVere) May 15, 2019
“This is the type of story that goes viral in other countries because it confirms Irish stereotypes,” tweeted famed Irish comic duo The Rubber Bandits.
Some were simply surprised to hear the tradition existed, and others asked in jest where they could apply for a job like Ring’s.
In Ring’s defence, he’s not the first Dublin mayor to have made short work of an allotment of kegs. Inews reports that Ring’s predecessor Mícheál Mac Donncha made his way through 100, and before that, Brendan Carr’s office worked through 82.
The Guinness family itself might even approve — family member Benjamin Guinness (son of the famous Arthur) was himself named mayor of Dublin in 1851.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019