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15 Mar 2019

Minister Michael D’Arcy switches on the green lights at The Grote Kerk in The Hague

Worldwide tourism push gets the green light for St Patrick’s Day

Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Michael D’Arcy TD, switched the green lights on De Grote Kerk in The Hague last night (14 March), as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the Netherlands. Minister D’Arcy is in the Netherlands as part of a "Promote Ireland" programme around St Patrick's Day – helping to promote tourism to Ireland.

The landmark church in The Hague is just one of hundreds of famous landmarks and iconic sites around the world which are set to light up green, as part of Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and the island of Ireland.  

“We are delighted that Minister D’Arcy is in the Netherlands, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit Ireland and also to switch the green lights on De Grote Kerk,” said Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in the Netherlands. “Our Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength, with numerous sites and buildings here in the Netherlands taking part this year – including a fun St Patrick’s Bike Parade in Amsterdam.

“St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of Dutch people and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as fantastic scenery and cultural activities.”

Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotional activity under way in the Netherlands, to continue to grow Dutch visitor numbers to Ireland this year. Activity includes a ‘Great Coastal Drives’ online campaign, promoting part of Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way. Co-operative activity is also under way – including TV, press and social media advertising in conjunction with KRAS (a leading Dutch tour operator); and a radio and digital campaign with Aer Lingus.
  HE Kevin Kelly, Irish Ambassador to the Netherlands; Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland; and Minister Michael D’Arcy, at the ‘greened’ Grote Kerk in the Hague.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing around 325,000 people across the island.
  • In 2018, we welcomed around 11.2 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of approximately €6.1 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted 20.3 million visitors in 2018.

Previous Press Release

14 Mar 2019

Food Glorious Food!