For the day that’s in it, St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally the one day in the year when we Irish, especially those of us no longer living at home on the Emerald Isle, get all nostalgic about the Ireland we love and brush off our traditional self effacing, almost self deprecating persona’s and wax lyrical of our achievements for such a small nation as ours. And our heritage and achievements are indeed something to be very proud of.
Ireland is a small island in a big ocean. But we were amongst the first to explore the Antarctic, and build half the transcontinental railroad of America. We designed the White House, and sat in the Oval Office. We’ve sent charity and championship horses all around the globe, as well as the gene for skin that goes from pasty white to sunburnt in 0.2 seconds.
We’ve given the world Yeats, Wilde, Beckett, Behan and Shaw. Writers who created characters as diverse as Dracula and Dorian Gray, Godo and Gulliver. Not to mention the Beaufort Scale, Boyles Law, the rechargeable battery and the Submarine.
We’ve conquered the airwaves of the world with our musicians, found the cure to eradicate leprosy, invented the hypodermic syringe and lent a new way to world politics by inventing the concept known as Boycotting. And newspapers and holidays were never the same after we invented colour photography.
We were the first to split the atom and to come up with the ejector seat along with the steam turbine and that little golden Oscar statue awarded annually in an evening of glitz and glamour.
So wherever you may be this St. Patrick’s Day, lift your glass, be it a nice cold pint of the Black Stuff (Guinness), or a glass of Uisce Beatha (Whiskey) and drink to a rich and vibrant history in honour of a country so small, but has had such a big impact on the world so far.