Sunday, March 07, 2010

Only Our Rivers Run Free?

I’ll cover my impressions of the final stop in my accidental tour of party conferences – yesterday’s Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Dublin – in a another post. But first we deal with the conference’s main gimmick. (Update - conference gimmick, but also serious longer-lasting retail merchandising stream.)

Stuff on sale at the stall at Sinn Fein's Ard Fheis

No, not the miniature hurling sticks commemorating republic heroes, nor the Bloody Sunday DVDs (the James Nesbitt version!), nor the “Drawing Support” guide for budding mural painters.

Selling branded bottled water - Only Our Rivers Run Free

But instead, the “Only Our Rivers Run Free” branded bottled water – still and sparkling – that was selling for €1 throughout the conference.

“For a taste of a United Ireland” claimed the strapline on the bottles from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. The hint of cloudiness might have been my imagination. Though the free RDS tap water tasted just as good as the chilled bottles.

A couple of bltles of Sinn Fein's branded water in the RDS Ard Fheis conference hall - Only Our Rivers Run Free states the label

Pity there weren’t any recycling bins to ease the environmental impact of all the bottles sold and emptied in the hot conference room! And I expect most workplaces would ban the bottles under flags and emblems policies!

7 comments:

AM said...

it is gimmick republicanism - no substance and just runs through your fingers like, what else, water

Manuel said...

you couldn't make it up...

Alan in Belfast said...

But you could sell it on eBay!

I did think it has a hoax when I first read about it ...

Justin M said...

Great report on the Ard Fheis but on the bottled water thing, it's not just a thing for the Ard Fheis. It's a new party merchandise line and is designed to make money in the same way as other SF merchandise.

A couple of retail outlets have already agreed to take it and they sold just over a thousand bottles over the weekend.

Alan in Belfast said...

Justin - thanks. Updated to make that clear.

Anyone want to take a bet on an environmental policy being brought to next year's Ard Fheis encouraging people to drink tap water and not bottled water?

djemmettdoyle said...

Where can I get a bottle of this water? was it just for sale at the ard fheis? if anyone knows let me know, my emails djemmettdoyle@hotmail.co.uk

Alan in Belfast said...

Anyone know where it's still on sale?