St Patrick's Day the family business way

By Attracta Mooney

As St Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off across the world today, spare a thought for the locals in the Irish town of Blarney.

Their celebrations were put in jeopardy after Charles Colthurst, whose family has owned the village green since the 18th century, pulled the plug on the space being used to hold a farmers and craft market.

Colthurst also owns Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone – renowned for giving those who kiss it the gift of the gab.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the owner of the popular tourist attraction said he was acting on the advice of his insurance broker.

“This is not Charles Colthurst making the decision. This is the advice from my insurance broker," he said, adding that there were issues over public liability, product liability and employer’s liability cover.

Luckily, the local Gaelic Athletic Association, which promotes Irish sports including hurling and Gaelic football, has since stepped forward and will now host the event at its grounds at 11am on 17 March.

Meanwhile, thousands of family businesses, including family-run pubs across the world, will join in the festivities for St Patrick’s Day, which is both a religious and cultural celebration.