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February 15, 2005



Oh David I know you don't really mean it - Come the great day , you'll be out on the streets waving a hybrid tricolour/union flag in the spirit of cross-community co-operation with a T shirt proudly displaying the logo UNIONISTS FOR ST PADDY'S DAY and doing your bit to persuade a crowd from the Shankhill to hold hands and dance with a crowd from the Falls!

It brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it ;)


Excuse my ignorance, but exactly what are they celebrating? Is it the escape of the brave British boy from his nasty Irish slave-master, his very brave decision to return to Hibernia to preach the gospel to the barbarian pagans, or summat else?

David Vance


Summat else, I reckon.


Unlike almost all of other places where they celebrate 17th March, Ballymena has a true connection to St Patrick. He called mid-Antrim home.

It was here he first found peace and freedom, spending his formative years looking after sheep for many years on Slemish mountain.

In Ballymena - the true home of St Patrick - the Orange Order have in recent years run a St Patricks day special parade to mark his day. I expect they will do the same this year.


Downpatrick also does a good job of it.
I despise the sound of bagpipes and therefore refuse to attend celebrations in NYC. Coming from a family where everyone and his brother plays the darn things...in the house...no matter how small! I say they constitute cruel and unusual punishment! Ban the bagpipes!


Howard: thank you, thank you; a slave shepherd "found peace and freedom". It's a wonder that he did a runner, then. But at least I can now be free of any guilt that my Irish ancestors kept slaves (like many of my other ancestors I presume, excepting the slave ones I suppose).
BTAIM, what does the day commemorate?

Young  Irelander


"In Ballymena-the true home of St.Patrick"

It always amuses me when I hear people speaking of St.Patrick's "true home" when the only Irish placename he ever mentioned in his writings was the Wood of Foclut in Killala Bay,Co.Mayo.

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