Due to their history, Irish people are spread across the world, and thanks to their skills, courage, strength and sheer grit there are fantastic transport systems in cities and respected citizens in every walk of life with Celtic ancestry. So it is hardly surprising that all across the globe the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated on his day, 17th March.

It is undisputed that St Patrick was born, not in Ireland but on mainland Britain.; some say he is Welsh, some say he is Scottish, or from what is now Cumbria. The fact is, however (so they say) that he was actually born her in Somerset. Banwell folk believe he was born in that village, a small place five or so miles inland along the Mendip Hills, but actually he was born not far from where I’m sitting now, somewhere between our village of Uphill, and the next village of Bleadon.

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Maybe he was looking after his sheep on the hillside here.

He was born in about 387AD, in Roman Britain and when he was in his teens he was snatched by pirates and taken as a slave across the sea to Ireland where he was sold to a farmer and worked as a herdsman on the land near the wonderful mountain of Slemish, in County Antrim. After six years he managed to escape and return home, but in the style of saints, he returned to the land of his captivity. He died some time in the fifth century, between 440 and 460AD There are many places associated with him that bear his name, Temple Patrick, near Belfast International Airport, for example.

Whatever the truth about Naomh Pádraig, the 17th March is a day of great celebration of all things Irish, and as great lovers of all things Irish, we went to the Dolphin, where there was a band playing, silly hats everywhere, and gorgeous Guinness! Cheers! Sláinte!

 

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