So Paddy’s Day. Not St. Patty’s Day. Not Patty’s Day. Do you know anyone called Patrick? Do they go by Patty? Well neither did St. Patrick! And if you do know a Patrick, and call him Patty, stop for God’s sake!

Green beer. If you’re Irish you don’t need to drink dyed beer. If you’re not Irish, but celebrate our national holiday: good for you. The more the merrier. We love a good party, the larger the better. You don’t need green beer to prove you’re Irish or celebrating the day.

Shamrocks. They have three leaves. Four leaf clovers are not shamrocks. Allegedly St. Patrick himself explained The Holy Trinity to Irish heathens using the shamrock. Three leaves, one plant. Three holy things (yes I’m very religious), one God. So that’s where the shamrock association comes in. Four leaf clovers represent luck. Leprechauns are lucky. But four leaf clovers have nothing to do with Ireland. Nada. Zip. Zero. Stop putting them on shirts, ties, posters and associating them with Paddy’s Day.

Craic not crack. Crack is basically cocaine that can be smoked. Craic on the other hand is basically fun. You can “have the craic”, the craic can “be mighty”, you can ask someone “is there any craic?” to mean is anything going on, or “what’s the craic?” to mean what’s going on. Craic is great craic altogether. If you’re in the pub with your friends yacking and roaring away, then you’re having great craic.

Dying rivers green. We don’t do this. Okay. I will admit it. I love seeing the Chicago river green. And it does make me feel homesick. So you win this round. Man I love me a green river.

Rugby. Woo hoo. Ireland. Ireland. Ireland. What a championship. The Six Nations. March 17th 2018. Paddy’s Day. Ireland already have the championship in the bag. They’ve won all four of their games to date. England are their last rival, the most bitter of them all. Beating them would mean a grand slam. Beating all opponents. The stage is set on England’s Home turf. Twickenham is electric with fans from both sides wanting glory. Eighty minutes of blood, sweat, and tears. Ireland win! What a gift to the people of Ireland. Double celebrations for Paddy’s the world over. I’m so excited I could piss myself!

On a more personal note, I miss Ireland a little bit more on March 17th. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss walking by The Irish Sea. I miss going to Howth, which is so beautiful at dusk on a sunny day, rare as they are. I miss the Dart, the pint that was brewed a few miles away, the chocolate, the cuppa tea, the brown bread, and the cúpla focail.

Family. Since my great-grandmother’s day, Rosanna Fagan, my mom’s side of the family has had a St. Patrick’s Day party. As kids we went to our great-aunts’ house for it. We loved it. We got to stay up late. See all our cousins. Eat great food. Once Maureen and Queenie died, various of their nieces and nephews (my mom’s generation) continued the tradition. This year my uncle hosted. I would have loved to have been there. To be with my parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. Sadly I doubt this tradition will last another generation. Too many people emigrated. Got busy with other things. I hope I make it home for one more hoolie…

Lá fhéile Pádraig daoibh go léir. Tog go bog é, agus have great craic altogether.

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