It's a St Patrick's Day love story with a twist.

Tauranga man Chris Dunne, nee Taylor, marked the annual day of Irish celebration with a permanent reminder - a celtic tattoo. The new addition was in honour of his new wife's heritage.

"She's not from Ireland but her family is very staunchly from Dublin," he said.

Mr Dunne married his wife Leanne on Sunday and was with her when the two visited Mount Maunganui's Rosie O'Grady's Irish Pub for St Patrick's Day, yesterday.


"We got to the pub and we were with a friend of hers, she knew the girl doing the tattoos.

I saw the shamrock and checked with Lee and we thought 'why the hell not'?"

Mr Dunne stripped off his green shirt, lay on the table and succumbed to the tattoo gun.

The tattoo is an Irish shamrock with traditional Maori design. It now sits on Mr Dunne's back between his shoulder blades, under a tattoo of the number 13 - the day he got married.

"The shamrock is obviously for her family. The Maori design, that's for the other end of it. The Irish and New Zealand represented more of my side."

"I was stone cold sober when I got the tattoo," he said.

Mr Dunne said he and his new wife were both planning on getting tattoos anyway.

"It's topped off a brilliant week. Ever since we got married, every day from there has been better and better and better."

Owner of Rosie O'Grady's Nootje Collins said at 5.30pm, their Saint Patrick's Day was already "definitely hectic".


Punters were enjoying "only Guiness", and had already got through six kegs.

She said customers were marking the occasion and were all dressed in green.

The Crown and Badger pub on the Strand was packed at 7pm. Many customers were dressed in green and live Irish music was playing.

Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385-461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church.