St. Patrick’s Day
Parades: There is plenty to do this St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. We have come a long way as regards parades with lots of razzmatazz and the big Parade in Dublin always attracts a large crowd. My favourite parades are the tiny tiny ones in small towns which are usually great fun and everyone joins in. They are all over the country and plenty of tractors on show.
A walk in Glendalough. Good fresh air and amazing scenery on offer so what’s not to like? The unpredictable Irish weather might be a glitch, particularly if the rain is horizontal. Other suggested walks include Howth Head, Killiney Hill and The Hill of Tara. Further afield for those living in the north and west the Burren and the Giants Causeway offer a great day’s hike.
Cook something traditional at home. This does not mean pasta and carbonara. Rather than buying the pre-cooked bacon or corned beef buy a chunk and cook it yourself. You will have great sandwiches for days afterwards. Of course the veggies has to be carrots, cabbage/spinach and cauliflower so that way you have the green, white and orange meal. Top it off with a trifle made from green, white and orange jelly and you have gone the whole hog. If you don’t fancy any of the above opt for the Irish fry with lots of black and white pudding.
Read a good Irish book. This applies whether the weather is good or bad. You could try reading (for the umpteenth time) Ulysses by James Joyce but chances are that you won’t get any further than you did the first time around. The Origins of the Irish by J.P. Mallory offers a witty approach to the complexities of our country and its people.
Watch the Rugby on tv. This will be on the 18th when the last match of this season’s Six Nations will hopefully see us win here in Dublin against England….. Fingers crossed and everything else as well.
Watch an Irish movie. In keeping with the upbeat mood of the day avoid films such as Angela’s Ashes or In the Name of the Father and opt for movies like The Quiet Man or better still Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The Banshees of Inisherin is new listing in this genre.
Enjoy some outdoor Irish history/heritage. It will take just over an hour for those living in Dublin to get to The Hill of Uisneach, near Mullingar. Uisneach has more Irish heritage and history than nearly any other part of the country. It is much overlooked and always the poor cousin to the more famous and popular historic sites such as Newgrange. It is the mythological and sacred centre of Ireland. It has not had the benefit of a modern interpretative approach and is all the more real and tactile for it.
Wearing of the Shamrock/Green. It doesn’t really matter whether anybody sees you or not but it is obligatory to wear green. Most shops have green sweaters etc. so no excuse. I bought one last week for €10. The children love the badges with shinny green ribbon but bear in mind these are for under 10’s!
The Drink. The perception out there is that Irish people get ‘plaited’ on St. Patrick’s Day. It would great to see the country without a collective hangover the day after. Most people will know a local pub where they can go and enjoy a pint of Guinness. The smaller rural pubs are really the place to be. My personal favourite from bygone times is O’Connell’s Pub in Skryne, Co. Meath (the pub which features in the Guinness Christmas advert).
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.