If you're celebrating St Patrick's Day in the West today you might notice things are a little more subdued than usual.

At least that's the aim of the plan laid down by several supermarkets and off-licences across Galway, preventing revellers from purchasing alcohol until 3pm today, March 17.

It's hoped the initiative will help to cut down on anti-social behaviour in the area, on a day which is notorious for on-street trouble.

According the Gardaí, the initiative is totally voluntary and businesses are under no legal obligation to refrain from selling alcohol.

Speaking to Newstalk today, Galway's Lord Mayor Frank Fahy said that the issue of anti-social behaviour on March 17 was not just isolated to one part of Ireland.

"We need to encourage people that there are other ways to celebrate St Patrick's Day other than going over the top as regards alcohol.

"It's not just Galway, every city has the same problem, right across the country."