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Beannachtaí na Féile Padraig!

by Sam Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 11:10:11 AM EST

It's March 17th and the day when the Irish traditionally get dressed in their best green outfits, wear bunches of shamrock on their lapels, head off to the local St. Patrick's Day parade and watch the best in tractors drag floats complete with Irish dancers down the main street of the town or city, come home and have a big dinner of bacon, cabbage and spuds followed possibly by green (lime) jelly and green (mint) ice-cream or green dyed cakes. That was then...

From the diaries...Happy St. Patty's Day...I just hoisted one in celebration! ~ whataboutbob
And go see Nosemonkey's appeal to your common sense and charity on this occasion.


Now? Well, the green is mostly worn by the tourists who come to Ireland for the St Patrick's week long festival.  The main streets in Dublin are covered in green buntings and flags and burger chains sell green coloured milk shakes.  I was in the city centre last night and there were more tourists on Grafton Street than natives. I was almost a novelty!

When I was much younger the day started with a full irish breakfast (rashers, sausages, fried eggs, fried bread, etc).  Then Dad would head out to the garden to hunt for clumps of shamrock which only seemed to appear on the morning on 17th March.  The shamrock would be put in a bowl of water to keep it fresh and then just before we headed out to the local church for mass we'd have a small bunch of shamrock pinned to our coats.  After mass in our house we'd watch the parade on TV in the morning and then have dinner at lunchtime - the description above of bacon and cabbage and anything green that could be eaten was the norm on St. Patricks day in our house.  
Today, Colman is in bed with a cold so I'll be cooking since the best suggestion he can come up with is lettuce sandwiches!  Admittedly green...just not very appetising.
Are there St. Patricks Day festivities where you are?  Slainte!!

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Merry St Patrick's day to you and Colman, Sam !

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 09:55:32 AM EST
Happy St Patrick's, Sam and <sniffle> Colman!

I expect there'll be some goings-on in Toulouse, where there a couple of Irish bars.

As for me, out in the country, i'll just watch that Guinness up there till it settles nicely, then it'll be Slainte!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 10:05:05 AM EST
(Click for larger)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 10:12:22 AM EST
No sweat:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

(2nd Commandment, Exodus 20, 4)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 10:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh...and the shamrock above is the TRUE shamrock!  I had to search so many websites to find it.  Most have what is definitely clover and not the small, dainty shamrock we have in our gardens.  Which reminds me...I know there was a mound of it out in our garden last year...must go an look for it in a few minutes.  If I find it I'll include a pic here.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 10:19:13 AM EST
The guy who owns the beer company of the picture above was my next farm house neighbor in Tuscany. He and his family are English. I never understood why the Irish people insist to promote this beer (stout) and connect it to their national holiday. Too much drink?

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 11:48:48 AM EST
I didn't know Arthur Guinness was English.  That's surprising, as you point out.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No...he was Irish.  He was born in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:32:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, okay.  I see.  Thanks for the link.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't actually know there was a Mister Diageo plc. Learn something new every day. Or not.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry.  Just realized the stupidity of what I just said.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. The format needs some help here.

  2. My mother told me when I was young that we didn't need to celebrate St. Patricks Day, that it was for people who weren't Irish who wanted to be Irish. Haha. We weren't Catholic at that time (Irish g-grandfather excommunicated...).  When my mother did convert & sent me to Catholic school, I think there were a few times I was forced to attend Mass.  Being a devout atheist at the time, I resented this.

  3. In Chicago St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by politicians marching in parades, frat boys getting wasted, and the city dies the river green... Someone remarked that you have to roll up your windows and lock your doors because of all the scary white people roaming the streets...

So, I'm a certain percentage Irish and have had Catholicism thrust upon me, but I've not had good experiences with this holiday.  I usually end up just having a Guinness and watching reruns of Ballykissangel.  But I do that a lot anyway. :)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:16:50 PM EST
Do not get me started on Irish-Americanism. Please.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, let's not lump everyone together, now.  I'm Irish-American.  

But through some bizarre combination of not looking it (apparently we are "black Irish" whatever that means - dark hair I guess) and not having been raised Catholic, we managed to escape that quintessintial Irish-American social thing.  Instead was brought up on liberal pagan stuff.  Bizarre...  But in all fairness, my family did not completely avoid the stereotype.  My grandfather was involved in some organized crime & worked for Kennedy. hahaha... And unfortunately there is a bit of the alcoholism in the fam... :(

But yeah, the Irish-Americans...  sigh...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Steam.  Steam is coming out of my ears.  I went to the Guinness website, and it asked me to enter my DOB and the country I'm in.  And then I got this:

Image hosting by Photobucket

&^%$#@

I am so mad.

I'm going to go go flout the rules and sensibilities of the country I live in now, by playing some poker.  For money.  And then I'm going dancing.  Somewhere they serve alcohol.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.  Slainte!  So there.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:46:52 PM EST
Can't you lie?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not the point.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 01:51:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course it isn't, but the more this idiocy continues the more we should do to subvert it.

What on earth does Guinness hope to accomplish by this?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 02:01:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have a 4, stormy.  To hell with the Guinness website.  In order to help you get back at them, I will be drinking Beamish and Murphy's tonight -- stout for the curious among us, instead of the uber-corporate, "Brilliant" Guinness.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 04:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stout for those who don't like stout you mean. Bleh. Anyway, how are you going to get decent stout? You're in the US now, right?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:02:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's nearly impossible to get decent stout.  I usually just choke down the mass-market stout they stuff into cans for the moronic Yanks (like me).  I do have to say that I enjoy Beamish, though.  (This is actually brewed and bottled in Cork.  Maybe that's why it tastes differently.)  Murphy's doesn't have nearly as much flavor as Beamish and Guinness, in my experience.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stout for those who don't like stout

As opposed to Guinness which is merely stout for those who don't know what stout is...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 03:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Sam and Colman.  And get well soon, Colman.  I expect you back, arguing with me, soon. ;)

My family has a lot of Irish blood, but we're mainly Scots-Irish, though with a Welsh last name from about the 19th Century onward.  (My family's one claim to fame is that Captain Kidd was an ancestor of ours.)  The only difference between St. Patrick's Day and any other day is that my fiancee makes corned beef and cabbage -- my favorite dish in all the world, though a tad too expensive to eat regularly.

We usually just play pool and darts, drink stout and "Irish Car Bombs" -- which, by the way, should be taken down very quickly; don't make the same mistake I made last year -- and talk about how much we'd all love to visit Ireland, as Jen and I are planning to next year quite often (partly so that my dad can visit the Mother Country).

Anyway, hope everyone enjoys the holiday.  If you drink, don't drink too much, and don't drive.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:08:08 PM EST
What is with the corned beef? Did the entire population of the US come from Cork or something? I suppobe it'd go with the damned Beamish.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my family actually did come, partly, from the area in and around Cork.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:13:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That at least would have some sense to it: corned beef is a Cork thing mostly, especially at Christmas.

"The People's Republic of Cork" as they like to call it. They remember being an important city once - for about 15 minutes.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:18:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, now, be nice.  What do you have against Cork?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cork people, coming fromythe second city - third if you count Belfast - tend to be entertainingly sensitive...

Don't much like Cork as a city nyway. Too small to have a rhythm. Though Galway is smaller and does.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:27:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you and Sam live in or near Dublin, I take it?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep...I was born and bred in Dublin...as were my parents and 90% of my grandparents.
(90% - my grandmother was born in Limerick but grew up in Dublin!)
Colman is a blow in with an Irish passport.  Born in London to Irish parents and then they let him into the country 10 years later.


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:39:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, so this is sort of a regional rivalry deal?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.  With parents from Mayo and Fermanagh he doesn't stand a chance.
Begorrah and bedehokey

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poor, poor Colman. :)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi, Sam -

Sorry if I missed the answer to this question, but do you speak Irish then?

by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would take a little while for me to have a conversation in Irish now but I can read it and understand it.


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was/is it taught in school?

It sounds like you don't get many opportunities to use it.  Do most people not have your level of fluency or just choose not to speak it with others who can?

by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 05:55:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish is taught in school as a compulsary subject from the age of 5 until 17.  It's not spoken or used on a day to day basis in most of Ireland.  There are a few areas in the West of Ireland called The Gaeltacht (pronounced G-wale-tock-t) where Irish is the 1st language.  I used to attend mass through Irish in our local church which would have had people in the congregation speaking Irish to eachother before and after the mass.  Some schools teach their students through Irish.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:02:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a long, sad, story of early 20th C nationalism that I could tell if I hadn't reached the Guiness-with-Jameson-pure-po-still-chaser stage of the evening . Irish is almost entirely an academic subject where a made-up dialect is taught and everyone pretends it's a living language.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:03:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emmm...Colman, I think you mean 'poT' still.  Otherwise you may have to take mine back and pour me something else...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has there been a renewed interest in the recent past in reviving Irish?  Kind of like Welsh has been bouncing back lately?
by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:14:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're trying to make it more popular...but they always are.  It was recently listed as an official language in Europe but that appears only to be causing headaches for the legal types who need to have their long sprawling documents translated into yet another language.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:27:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, from the wikipedia entry for "Irish Gaelic":


 Since the State was founded in the 1920s as the Irish Free State (see also History of the Republic of Ireland), the Irish Government required a degree of proficiency in Irish for all civil service positions (including postal workers, tax officials, agricultural inspectors, etc.), as well as for employees of state companies (e.g. Aer Lingus, RTE, ESB, etc). Proficiency in Irish for entrance to the public service ceased to be a compulsory requirement in 1974, in part through the actions of protest organizations like the Language Freedom Movement. While the requirement was also dropped for wider public service jobs, such as teaching, Irish remains a required subject of study in all schools within the Republic which receive public money (see also Education in the Republic of Ireland). The need for a pass in Leaving Certificate Irish for entry to the Gardaí (police) was dropped in September 2005, although applicants are given lessons in the language during the two years of training. Most official documents of the Irish Government are published in both Irish and English.

So until Sept. of last year you had to know Irish to join the police force.

What do you think of the dropping of the language requirement for civil servants?

by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More jobs for Irishmen ;-)

I am generally very supportive of minority languages.  I really think having Irish as an official EU language could end up saving it from obscurity.

by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:34:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Juat like Batua basque and Nynorsk. You just need to give it another century.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And just to point out to the world in general...the Irish language is called IRISH...not GAELIC!!  And the country of Ireland is IRELAND not EIRE!!

Now...that feels so much better...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaelic is a Celtic language, isn't it?  I think some of the Scots speak it, though less and less so as time passes.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on this link I think Irish, Scottish, and Manx are all Gaelic languages.
by slaboymni on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:25:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No...gaelic is really a blanket name for all the celtic languages.  Irish speakers and Scots Gaelic speakers would not necessarily understand each other.  As a matter of fact Irish speakers from the East and West of Ireland would have difficulty understanding each other.


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Fri Mar 17th, 2006 at 06:35:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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