A BLACKBURN pub landlord has made a tongue-in-cheek bid to have St Patrick's Day declared a public holiday so his customers can join in the celebrations without taking a day off work.

Customers were keen to sign up when Tim Norton, manager of O'Neill's on King William Street, launched a petition.

"Many customers have been complaining that they will be stuck in work all day when they should be out celebrating in style," said Tim.

"We're hoping this petition will show the powers that be why March 17 should be declared a national party day."

This year's festivities at O'Neill's will raise funds for the Royal National Institute for the Blind. Fund raisers will include a charity auction for an O'Neill's hat signed by a mystery celebrity and giveaways.