Irish journalism largely consists of re-printing press releases or even copying from each other and just re-printing what another newspaper already had said. Last week I wrote about the incorrect numbers about parade attendees that every year are spread. 500,000 is the claim, which is actually impossible because the streets of Dublin are not wide enough. And again the same lies were repeated this year: www.rte.ie/news/2012/0317/stpatricksday_ireland.html
This year, I checked myself and found a few interesting facts:
+ Even if you are tall, you can hardly see any pedestrian parade participants if you are further back than 7 people from the parade route boundary.
+ People at the front arrived at 08:00. That is 4 hours before the parade started!
+ While there are LOTS of people in O’Connell Street, the crowds are not more than 5 deep between Christ Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
+ On average there is a depth of significantly less than 30 people (15 on each side of the street) along the parade route. And only about a third of them can see the parade.
And the result? If you can fit a generous 2.5 people per metre and with a depth of 15 people on each side. The 2.7km parade route was lined by a max of 202,500 people and less than half of them (approx. 94500) actually SAW the parade! This is a lot lower than I generously calculated last week: www.joergsteegmueller.com/2012/03/15/st-patricks-parade-lies-and-statistics/
500,000 is impressive, but the realistic 94,500 is not so much!! By the way, there were certainly another thousands of people searching for a suitable viewing position, but they never saw anything, so something should be done! Or is it maybe not a high priority to get people to SEE the parade? Maybe luring thousands into the City Centre and claiming that lots were there is more important?