Michael Conaghan, Lord Mayor of Dublin, started it. Taking his role as first citizen of Dublin seriously, and anxious that Dubliners would have a more enjoyable St Patrick's Day this year than over the last two years, he suggested that off-licences in the capital stay closed until 6pm on the big day. It was a modest request and would have effectively met its objective of giving us a more pleasant atmosphere in the city centre for the festivities. He was supported by a wide variety of groups and, if his request was put to the people, I believe a large majority would have agreed. He met the representatives of the off-licences and formally asked them to forgo some profits in the interests of the public. No, they said. End of story!