Tales of the old country flow with the Guinness

MORE than a few bloodshot eyes will pry open this morning. 

St Patrick’s Day got a warm embrace across the south-west yesterday as revellers with Irish blood shared a pint and reminisced on which county their ancestors hailed from. 

Pubs in Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Macarthur and Koroit enjoyed one of the busiest Monday nights of the year. 

The Seanchai started even earlier than most, launching into a weekend of Irish music. 

Enjoying a lull before the storm, pub owner Joshua O’Dowd was expecting more than 300 to fill the venue. 

“It’s a good atmosphere, people are always in a good mood and very rarely do you get any trouble on St Patrick’s Day,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Warrnambool's Jim McCarthy toasts his Irish ancestors - who settled in Killarney in the 19th century - at the Seanchai Irish Pub on St Patrick's Day yesterday.

Warrnambool's Jim McCarthy toasts his Irish ancestors - who settled in Killarney in the 19th century - at the Seanchai Irish Pub on St Patrick's Day yesterday.

“We’ve had bands all week. 

“I used to run it up at hostels in Melbourne and it was one of the best days up there.”

At least 10 kegs of Guinness get drained out of the bar each year. 

“Last year we did ten. I think there’s 170 pints per keg,” Mr O’Dowd said. 

Fiddles and bodhran drums made a comeback for celebrations, despite the stage normally being reserved for pub rock. 

“But we will be starting (Irish music) once a month on a Saturday afternoon. 

“We used to do it on Sundays but we’re not opening on Sundays any more. 

“We haven’t confirmed the dates yet.” 

Steve Wackett and Bernie O'Keeffe, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day at the Seanchai Irish Pub.

Steve Wackett and Bernie O'Keeffe, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day at the Seanchai Irish Pub.

Bernie O'Keeffe and Rose Harper, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day.

Bernie O'Keeffe and Rose Harper, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day.

Nathan Davies and Matt McMahon, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day at the Seanchai.

Nathan Davies and Matt McMahon, both of Warrnambool, enjoy St Patrick's Day at the Seanchai.