this is how I spent St Patrick’s day. First of all, after a lie in, a trip with Janine to visit my mother in law in her nursing home. She is a special lady who nearly always seems to smile despite the consequences of a stroke. There are always fresh flowers in the room and the picture shows some family weddings out of focus in the background – my own wedding included.
Then onto the little village of Killyleagh on the shores of Strangford lough. The purpose was for Janine to drop off a jewellery delivery to a local craft store (Kingfisher gallery). A few Japanese tourists wandered in whilst we were there.
A castle dominates the village – I am always struck by the fact that it really does not look very Irish, in contrast to the streets with more than their fair share of public houses.
This morning I browsed through the many dozens of posts on fb referring to St Patrick’s Day. Green buildings from Belfast City Hall to the Colloseum in Rome, green rivers in cities like Chicago. Cousins of mine in Toronto all in that un-natural green which people wear to say that they really are Irish if only for a day. Lots of guinness references of course. Lots of humour – “never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction”.
I also watched Enda Kenny (Taoiseach) speaking under President Trump’s nose in the White House of St Patrick as an immigrant. Another Irish politician being more forthright (https://youtu.be/WxxQOGGl2Jc) and using St Patrick’s day to argue directly that the changes we are watching in the US, around the banning of muslims from some countries is just wrong. In Ireland we have learnt that walls don’t work.
However, isn’t it interesting that a Christian saint who, after all brought the message of Jesus to the Irish, can now be re-invented and associated with the message that banning muslims from a nation is wrong. Ironic. But a message that I think both Jesus & St Patrick would approve of.