Saturday 17 November 2018

Mary Kenny: Hail glorious St Patrick!

David, Andrew and George don't have a prayer next to Ireland's saint…

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Oh, the neighbouring nations have tried. They've tried very hard. Awed by the success of St Patrick's Day, not only in Ireland, but worldwide, there have been concerted efforts to establish St David's, St Andrew's and St George's as national saints' days in Wales, Scotland and England.

The Welsh have managed to get St David's Day on March 1 - called after a sixth-century Welsh bishop - reasonably well-recognised, accompanied by the national emblem of that not-altogether-beautiful vegetable, the leek. But dedication to St David would still be something of a minority pursuit.

Scotland has designated St Andrew's Day on November 30 as their national day, but, inconveniently, they have to share their national saint's day with Romania, who also nominate Andrew the fisherman as their own special saint. Georgia, Cyprus and Malta also have a claim on Andrew.

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