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Survey Examines Attitudes Towards St. Patrick’s Day, US-Ireland Relations

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Lenox Consulting and Publitics partnered with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, to take a deeper look at the past, present and future of Ireland’s special relationship with America.  The museum, in conjunction with Steve Lenox of Lenox Consulting, a boutique public affairs firm with offices in the U.S. and Ireland and Matt Krayton of strategy and communications consultancy, Publitics, released the details of a survey on American perceptions of St. Patrick’s Day and the Ireland-U.S. relationship.  

“We saw St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to look at the perceptions Americans have about Ireland and the Irish-American relationship and of course, St. Patrick’s Day itself.  It’s clear the bond remains strong,” said Lenox.   “The story of the Irish is one of emigration, of moving to new countries and making our home there. The relationship between Ireland and America has been forged in history and a strong link between our peoples still exists today,” said EPIC curator Nathan Mannion.  

The survey found that over half of Americans (56%) plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  Of those celebrating, roughly 80% will mark the day by wearing green, 44% will cook Irish food at home and 38% will head to a bar or restaurant.  Overall, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations create positive impressions or Ireland and Irish culture for just over half of Americans. 

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“Irish immigrants have made a sizable imprint on American history and society, so it’s no surprise that Americans have very positive feelings toward Ireland,” said Krayton.  85% have a favorable view of Ireland, while about the same number (86%) believe that it is important for the U.S. to maintain a positive relationship with the Emerald Isle.  “A bright future for the Ireland-U.S. relationship is important on this side of the Atlantic and much of that can be attributed to the past,” continued Krayton.

EPIC, for its part, celebrates the strong link between the people of the United States and Ireland. An impressive array of Irish-American luminaries are featured, including: JFK, Ronald Reagan, Henry Ford, White House architect James Hoban, writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck, baseball legend Connie Mack, boxer John L. Sullivan, Olympic athletes the Irish Whales, Major General Richard Montgomery, singer John MacCormack, dancers Gene Kelly and Michael Flatley, actors John Wayne, James Cagney and Grace Kelly, film director John Ford and TV host Conan O'Brien among others.

Cutting-edge technology brings visitors on a journey through the Irish emigration experience. The interactive galleries at EPIC tell the fascinating stories of over 300 Irish people, past and present, and relive some of the greatest achievements in the world of music, art, literature, sport, business, politics, fashion and science. 

The positive feelings toward Ireland are good news for attractions like EPIC, and show there are opportunities to further engage the “Global Irish”.  The survey found that 77% have some interest in traveling to Ireland.  “The results make clear that there multiple ways to harness the enthusiasm Americans feel towards Ireland, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, to make a meaningful economic impact,” said Lenox. “Instead of simply ‘wearing green’ let’s work to have them wearing Irish brands and designers. Let’s make sure that the 77% that say they are interested in traveling to Ireland actually book their trips, and do so on direct flights to Dublin, Shannon, Cork, or Belfast from wherever they are in the U.S.,” continued Lenox.

Mannion concluded, “The results of the St. Patrick’s Day survey are very positive. It’s encouraging to see that people still celebrate their Irish heritage and that Irish arts and culture have an ongoing impact. It’s great that Ireland is seen as a place people want to travel to, as visitors from the United States are extremely important for the island’s tourism.”

 

About the Survey

The first annual St. Patrick’s Day survey is a collaborative project between Publitics and Lenox Consulting. The survey explores American attitudes about the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and perceptions of the Ireland/U.S. relationship.

The survey was conducted among 806 U.S. adults from 2/18/2018–2/21/2018. Responses were captured online using a leading opt-in panel provider. Steps were taken to ensure that the demographic composition of the sample is representative of the U.S. adult population. The margin of error is +/- 3.5%.

About the Survey Authors

Steve Lenox — Lenox Consulting

Steve Lenox is Founder and President of Lenox Consulting, an international boutique public relations and public affairs firm with offices in New Jersey and Ireland. Steve also serves as President of Irish Network USA, a national nonprofit organization with chapters across the United States, that provides a vehicle and resource for Irish, Irish-Americans, and friends of Ireland to invest in Ireland through business, arts, culture, education and sport.

Matt Krayton — Publitics

Matt is the Founder of Publitics, a strategy, public relations and public affairs consultancy. Matt has consulted on campaigns at the local, state and federal level as well as has served as an advisor to clients in the private and public sector through delivering goals-driven communications and media strategies.

He is currently an adjunct professor at Centenary University’s (New Jersey)  business department, teaching in their first-of-its-kind social media program. Prior to founding Publitics, Matt worked at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll and later taught freshman seminar for political science students and in the Law in the Liberal Arts program as an adjunct instructor.

 

Nathan Mannion – Curator, EPIC The Irish EmigrationMuseum 

Nathan is the Curator at EPIC , a state-of-the-art museum in Dublin, Ireland, founded by Neville Isdell in 2016. It tells the moving and unforgettable story of the 10 million people who left Ireland over the centuries – and how they influenced and shaped the world. The only fully digital museum in the world and shortlisted for European Museum of the Year 2018, EPIC features 1,500 years of Irish history in its atmospheric vaults, with tales of adventure, adversity and triumph.

 

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