Up the Irish

Every year much of the world stops, dresses up in green, starts drinking beer and pretends they know how to step dance.  Yeah that’s right it is St Patrick’s day.

The Irish are well known across the globe for many things.  Guinness beer, shamrocks, and an unwillingness to forgive the English for a couple or five centuries of oppression. 

While the Scots are happy to have their national personality called dour, the Germans – orderly, the Chinese deferential and polite, the Indians friendly and optimistic. –  The Irish have gone in a different direction … Irishness has become associated with drinking, fibbing (or outright lying) and remembering the glass is half full. 

In their best light, let’s describe the Irish as the planet’s best marketers.  And they didn’t have much to work with:

  • St Patrick after all was a Englishman. And that idea that he drove the snake from Ireland is …. Well uh… bushwa.
  • So the leprechauns and the fairies are part of the marketing mythology to explain Ireland before science and religion took hold.
  • Nor is there a pot of gold thing at the end of a rainbow. 
  • The Giant’s causeway is a volcanic basalt geological formation despite what you hear about Finn McCool and Bennadonner
  • It is true that 40% of US and Canadian residents believe they have Irish heritage
  • Those Lucky Charms are really marshmallows in your cereal
  • Corned beef and cabbage is NOT a traditional Irish meal
  • HOWEVER The Blarney stone is real – kiss it and you have the gift of eloquence – because a witch told the McCarthy clan about its powers

Despite the fibs the Irish are really good at blessings. So on St Patrick’s Day……

May the road rise to meet you, 
May the wind be ever at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face, 
And the rains fall soft upon your fields. 
And until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of his hand