Thursday 8 December 2016

David McWilliams: The invite that we should all be clamouring to send

Published 16/03/2011 | 05:00

Last Saturday, the green bunting was up and the giant leprechauns were adorning the souvenir shops on Lexington Avenue. On Third Avenue dozens of Irish pubs had flags flying in expectation of the Big Day. New York was preparing for St Patrick's Day, when thousands will descend on Fifth Avenue for the parade.

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Far from the epicentre, there will be thousands of smaller parades and parties as the particular "Irishness" of much of Irish America is on display. These are our people and for them, Ireland is not just a small country in the Atlantic experiencing some financial difficulties. Ireland for them is something much bigger. It is the mothership of a global tribe of which the Irish Americans are the main clan.

The vast majority of Irish Americans have never set foot in Ireland but they want to be connected with the place. And that is the opportunity.

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