It is being reported by a number of Irish charities that a significant number of traditional Irish musicians have been left abandoned on the roadside just one day after being asked to play for St. Patrick's Day.
The DSPCM, Dublin Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Musicians, told the Drone that there has been an increase in the number of pubs and bars that hire musicians to play traditional Irish music just for St. Patrick's Day, but then simply get rid of them when the day is over.
The DSPCM say that pubs and bars do not realise the responsibility involved in taking care of traditional musicians and that they only want them due to the hype leading up to St. Patrick's Day.
DSPCM spokesperson: "There have been numerous stories of pubs taking on musicians just for St. Patrick's Day. I think they think it's a novelty but that quickly wears off when they realise that they would have to pay the musicians regularly for turning up and even give them some food and drink."
"When this responsibility hits home, they usually just get rid of them any way the they can. They just put them out onto the street and shut the doors, leave them outside someone else's pub or even drive them out to another suburb and just dump them on the side of the road. It's shocking what they do to musicians."
The DSPCM released CCTV footage of an accordion player hired to play in Temple Bar for St. Patrick's Day, being abandoned in another suburb of Dublin. On the video you can clearly see the musician being led out of the car by another man and being left on the roadside. Heartbreakingly, the musician can then be seen whimpering and running after the car as the man speeds off.
Luckily for this musician, the DSPCM say that they have been inundated with offers from real music pubs to adopt the musician since the video was released. However they say that there are hundreds more cases just like this and that there isn't enough demand to successfully re-home the musicians.
"Unfortunately there is such a huge number that if no-one adopts a musician, there is a significant chance of them being put-down...and by 'put-down', I mean shipped off to Brú Ború in Tipperary, where traditional music goes to die."
"The DSPCM urges publicans and bar owners to understand the responsibility associated with taking on musicians and to remember...Traditional musicians are for life, not just for Paddy's Day."