Guinness loving tourists are visiting the long forgotten grave of inventor, philanthropist and employer, Arthur Guinness.
The founder of Ireland’s national beer, Arthur Guinness, died in 1803 and was buried in small graveyard in Oughterard, Celbridge, County Kildare.
The sixth century graveyard is located on a small hill and is picturesquely surrounded by trees. It also holds the remains of a Round Tower and numerous tombs.
However, it’s not the easiest tourist attraction to find as it is not signposted. This does not seem to put off those who wish to make this strange pilgrimage and every day people from all over the world come to visit his resting place.
Doug Stein and Monica Iversson, from Kansas City, came on a day trip to visit Guinness’ grave. “It is kind of neat and a fun thing to do. We heard about the graveyard through the Internet so we thought. Hey! Why not! I quite like Guinness as a drink. It has been in so many movies about Ireland that you can't come here without trying it,” said Monica.
"I have no Irish blood in me but I do have lots of Irish beer in me,” Doug told the Irish Independent. “If you drink Guinness you got to pay your respects. For such a famous man it's kind of strange that his grave is not on any of the official tourist literature."
Simon Fry, another tourist from Somerset, England, came out to the graveyard by bike with a camcorder and a bottle of Guinness as a kind of prop in his home movie. He said “I like visiting graveyards -- you never know who you are going to find buried there. It is a kind of [posthumous] celebrity spotting.”
It is believed this new tradition of the pilgrimage to Arthur’s grave was inspired by the Arthur’s Day celebration. Launched last the celebration was essentially a large marketing ploy. Guinness was celebrated at parties across the globe for their 250th birthday but now the celebrations are becoming an annual thing. This years celebrations will take place on September 23.
Killian Burns from the Guinness Brewery said “This interest will undoubtedly grow as we continue Arthur's philanthropic legacy with the Arthur Guinness Fund. We are celebrating Arthur's Day again across Ireland, Malaysia, the Caribbean and the US on September 23.”