Mar 17 2016

The Shortest St Patrick’s Day Parade


Alex at the entrance to the town of Dripsey, County Cork, in 2006


St Patrick’s Day Ball at St John’s College

I know that my father-in-law Paddy had one or two (or more) of the 13 million pints of Guinness that will be drunk worldwide today.

His grandson Will is attending a St Patrick’s Day ball tonight, during which I am sure he will also contribute to this worthy international effort.

As noted on this day in Wilt back in 2011, they are both loyally participating in an Australian tradition dating back more than 200 years.

In 1810, Governor Lachlan Macquarie declared St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, as an official day of celebration. Australia has been celebrating on that day ever since. Until this year, Sydney hosted the second biggest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world. Unfortunately, the parade committee’s finances have mirrored the Irish national finances and the parade is cancelled this year.

Our family circus travelled through Dripsey, County Cork, in 2006.  Clearly the town is very proud to be the ‘Home of the shortest St Patrick’s Day Parade of the 20th Century‘. Today, after referring  to the Guinness Book of World Records (how appropriate!), I can finally take that theatric quizzical look from Alex’s face.

My research has revealed that those stalwart St Patricks Day paraders in Dripsey will have to troop all the way out the front door of  The Weigh Inn Pub and march until they reach the welcome relief of the only other pub in town, the Lee Valley – a total distance of 23.4 metres. A man truely is not a camel.

There are lots of such WTF? moments in Ireland.

Greg R. has submitted some Irish Trivia: Feel free to submit your answers in the comments section below.

  • Outside of Ireland, what country in the world has the highest proportion of people claiming to be of Irish ancestry?
  • To what was James Joyce referring with his phrase “wine of Ireland”?
  • What happened to St Patrick on March 17?
  • What is the main ingredient of boxty? A: potato (Ed: what in earth in boxty?)
  • What city dyes its river green on St Patrick’s Day?
  • What was the Irish national color in the time of St Patrick?
  • If ‘Mac’ in an Irish surname (e.g. MacStrain) means “son of”, what does ‘O’ (e.g. O’Malloy) mean?

Finally, a St Patrick’s Day toast to you all

“May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”

What I Learnt On 17th March in other years

17th March 2012 Danger 5Danger 5
17th March 2011 Happy St Patrick's DayHappy St Patrick’s Day

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