Katy Harrington: Thank God St Patrick's Day is over
Published 21/03/2016 | 02:30
I said it - Thank God St Patrick's Day is over. That sentence is a little misleading, because I don't believe in God or St Patrick but every now and again I am required to acknowledge that other people do. Now that another March 17 has passed and your hangover has abated, let's have a serious talk about all this Paddy's Day nonsense.
First, it's important to say that although it's been a few years since I lived in Ireland, I do recall that no one cares that much. You'll get mums and dads who can be arsed taking their kids out in the drizzle to see the parade of tin whistlers and papier mache heads, but most of us are just like 'Cheers for the day off, now buzz off and let me get back to my House of Cards marathon'.
Over here in London it's a whole different deal. They shut down half of central London at 11am the weekend before St Patrick's Day in order to turn Trafalgar Square into an epicenter for paddywhackery. Tens of thousands of tourists (most of whom wouldn't be able to point out Ireland on a map) don fake ginger leprechaun beards, glittery shamrock sunglasses and green foam hats and gather to watch shouty pub bands doing their best diddly-i or murdering some Thin Lizzy song. A few Irish people turn up all right and you can spot them easily because they have a tricolour wrapped round their shoulders and a fag hanging out of their mouth. Ah but shure 'tis all a bit of craic isn't it? By 4pm, the sweet families with babies dressed in green white and gold have gone home and only the cider-drinking teenagers are left.
By 6pm, when they wisely shut the whole thing down for fear it will turn into an all-nighter of brawling and barfing, the stragglers leak out onto the street where they harass buskers to sing Galway girl again and puke their way back to the bus stop. Makes you proud to be Irish.