Jodie Lilliebridge, John Bunn and Leanne Beynon.
Jodie Lilliebridge, John Bunn and Leanne Beynon. John Gass

A great day, to be sure

COOLANGATTA Hotel was green with Irish pride yesterday when it celebrated St Patrick’s Day.

Media manager Vanessa Fairweather said it was a favourite tradition among patrons.

“It’s something that we do each year. We’ve probably been doing it since we’ve been a hotel,” Ms Fairweather said.

“We always like to get in the spirit of things on holidays.

“It’s mostly for our locals. We always enjoy watching them dress up and enjoy the day, and it adds some excitement.”

Despite having no Irish origins, the staff and patrons were dressed in novelty hats and bow ties and were plastered with novelty tattoos.

“I don’t think any of our staff have any Irish heritage, but it’s a good day regardless,” Ms Fairweather said.

“This is the one day of the year we all get to pretend we’re Irish.”

The hotel served green beer, an Irish stew, lamb shank pie and held a Luck of the Irish Treasure Trove competition.

Tweed Heads Bowls Club also celebrated in true Irish style with patrons enjoying pints of Guinness, telling Irish jokes and singing Irish ditties. Marketing manager Lynne Deans said patrons and staff were all so well dressed there had to be three runner-up awards in addition to first and second place in the best-dressed competition.

“The lady who won was just so green, and she had this magnificent green hat,” she said.

“We gave away plenty of prizes and there were balloons everywhere.

“We had an absolutely huge day.”

Tweed Heads Bowls Club staff member Grant Watson, nicknamed Irish after his heritage, said he enjoyed the day.


  • At the 2006 census, 9207 Tweed Shire residents claimed to have Irish ancestry.
  • Only 159 of the 9207 were born in Ireland.
  • This compares to only 5584 Lismore Shire residents laying claim to Irish ancestry.
  • In the same year there was a total of 578,967 Irish descendents living in NSW.
  • The majority, 419,940 people, had both parents born in Australia.
  • About one in 12 Aussies are of Irish descent.

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