Seen as being the essence of Irishness, at least as far as having a street party goes, the big, carnival-like parades on Saint Patrick's Day are ... not Irish in origin. They are, essentially, an American invention. Or, to be more precise, an invention of the British colonies in North America. And far from being a celebration of ethnic and religious inclusiveness, as they are in most places today, they started as manifestations of WASP culture. Find out more about the history of Saint Patrick Parades ... Irish since about 1975 only.
Okay, those who do not have fond memories of glam rock and the seminal "Sweet" ("Ballroom Blitz") may be puzzled by the headline, so I'll just rephrase it as "Saint Patrick in a Nutshell". That again sounds more like Saint Brendan, doesn't it, if you know your Irish saints? Anyway - to kick the week off, and the countdown to Saint Patrick's Day, here is the initial offering: Everything Saint Patrick - a quick crash course!
Another game ... and a huge victory - with Ireland beating Italy 46 to 7, the overall win in the Six Nations rugby tournament seems to be within grasp of the "Boys in Green". No Grand Slam possible any more, but still. Just one more game, next Saturday against France ...
In an interesting development, the Dublin Airport Authority is now trying to stop the looming strike at Dublin, Shannon and Cork (see here) with a court injunction. Now that'll do wonders for industrial relations, I'd say. In related news, Aer Lingus has shuffled flights and even rebooked passengers onto other airlines. If you are planning to fly on March 14th, check and recheck your flight details frequently.