Alex Massie Alex Massie

The Horrors of St Patrick’s Day

Eammon Forde doesn’t much care for St Patrick’s Day:

It says everything about what it means to be Irish these days that the biggest parades take place hundreds of miles from Irish soil where a once-proud diaspora’s celebration of its past has been hijacked by anyone who has seen The Quiet Man and wants to get noisily bladdered. They may as well wear their heart on their sleeves and pay a gaggle of pale-faced colleens with pigs under their arms to spray the streets with whiskey and potatoes.In Alan Partridge’s phrase, “de big oidea” behind St Patrick’s Day today is to amplify every cultural cliché to the point where it is impossible to tell if it is parody, pastiche or homage.

Good for him. The plastic Paddery on display today is wearisome. As the great Myles na Gopaleen wrote, it’s just another version of “the claptrap that has made fortunes for cute professional Irishmen in America.” Enough with these, to quote Myles again, “virulent eruptions of Paddyism.”

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