Posts Tagged With: Irish

Celebrate the Irish

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An endless sea of green can be found everywhere today – clothing, beer, even rivers. The perennial busiest drinking day of the year where everyone is eager to raise a pint and join in the good craic. While it is great to pay homage to St. Patrick himself, today let us celebrate the good people of the green, white and orange. Being half Irish myself (and darn proud of it), I reflect on all the adversity and achievements of the people of my motherland.

There are more Irish living outside of Ireland than inside. Due to economic woes back home, they have had to leave their country behind and start anew in foreign lands. In their new homes, they work tirelessly to make a better life for themselves and their families. They also contribute greatly to their new homes.

The Irish possess strong hearts and fight until the end. This is part of what won their independence from Britain after centuries of conquest. During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the Irish soccer team were remembered for their last-minute game-tying goals against Germany and Spain. Even though the Irish exited the tournament, they left their fighting spirit mark.

Ireland has produced great writers of the world in the names of Jonathan Swift, William Butler Yeats and James Joyce. We also have current famous celebrities like Colin Farrell, Bono and Pierce Brosnan – all of whom hail from the Emerald Isle.

St. Patrick’s Day of 2016 is a special one as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, which was the start of Ireland’s long road to independence from the United Kingdom.

So while you are wearing green today, take a moment to remember what they Irish have endured and accomplished over past centuries. And if you are going to celebrate with a drink, forget drinking green beer. Have a pint of Guinness, or as the Irish call it, “the black stuff”.

So slainte to all and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , ,

The Truth About the Irish

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i’m proud to be Irish! My mother hails from there and her family has been there since the 1100’s. I cheer on the Irish soccer team every time they qualify for a major soccer tournament, and I even cry when I hear Soldier’s Song play, which is Ireland’s national anthem. As much as I love Ireland, I don’t intend to dress up in green and wear a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirt on St. Paddy’s Day. Why? In my honest opinion, I believe St. Paddy’s Day mocks the Irish more than honors them. Sure, I wear an Irish soccer jersey and sit down to a pint of Guinness, but that’s about it.

The Irish are renowned for enjoying a good pint, but I believe if they weren’t no one would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as much. It is just another excuse to get super loaded, only to regret it when you see those awful photos leaked all over social media. There is more to the Irish than the green and Guinness – a lot more!

First off, the Irish are a nation born in blood and fire. They’ve endured centuries of invasion and conquest by the Vikings, the French and the British. In fact, they haven’t yet been an independent nation for one hundred years. Many of my ancestors were tortured by British soldiers. I think it’s amazing that the Irish endured so much yet eventually won their battle for home rule.

The Irish have also endured despair internally. The Great Potato Famine saw thousands of Irish citizens having to leave their homeland in search of a better life. Then of course came the troubles in the twentieth century. The fight to obtain home rule, the economic strife of the 1940’s and 1950’s, not to mention all the trouble with the I.R.A. My grandfather experienced some of this as he lost his job on Christmas Eve, and had to move his family to England – a place that didn’t take kindly to the Irish. He loved his country so much, but had no choice but to abandon it for the sake of my grandmother, mother and two aunts. Like him, thousands of Irish folks have had to go abroad, leaving behind their homeland they love so much. There are more Irish citizens living outside of Ireland than in!

Even today economic woes hit the Emerald Isle. With the euro as the official currency, things are really expensive in Ireland. It’s a great place to visit, not so much to live in. So when you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate the Irish for being such proud, hard-working and enduring warriors, rather than being crazy drinkers. As tiny as the island is, it has left a huge mark in the world. Every European seems to like them. I know because I have an Irish passport and I always get a smile from European customs officers when they see it. Remember this: St. Patrick wasn’t Irish; he was actually British.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , ,

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