St Patrick’s Day was celebrated all around the world yesterday including here in Japan but not by me as I’m still bemused as to why its so popular. Now don’t get me wrong I am very fond of Ireland as a country not that my one visit to Dublin for New Years Eve six years ago was much of a cultural trip. I was there with some University pals for the sole reason of just getting p*ssed but I digress slightly.
For some unknown reason I do tend to follow the sporting fortunes of the Irish quite closely even though I don’t possess the slightest hint of Irish blood not that it was much different for the footballers, particularly the Jack Charlton era (1986-1995) where a few of the players had very tentative Irish links. David O’Leary’s winning penalty in their first World Cup Finals at Italia ’90 was a great memory for me as was Ray Houghton’s winner against the Italians at USA ’94 (incidentally his winner against England in Euro ’88 was definitely not) and Robbie Keane’s last gasp equaliser against the Germans in Korea in 2002.
On top of this I hold a soft spot for the Irish Rugby team and wanted them to win the Six Nations Championship (in the knowledge that England’s mathematical chances of winning it were very slim) which came to a climax yesterday. I was a tad disappointed that they had the title snatched away from them by the French in such a dramatic late fashion. On the other hand there was good news as their cricket team underdogs defeated the might of Pakistan at the World Cup in the Caribbean.
Anyway, to finally get to the point (yes, there is one!) I don’t see any reason for celebrating St Paddy’s Day myself. I feel a little sorry for the actual Irish people who have to put up with all the Irish-wannabe’s, particularly those from New York, wearing a bit of green and a face painted Shamrock and talking about the ‘craic’ and whatever else while using the occasion as a cheap excuse to get drunk. Nothing wrong with getting drunk of course but why do people need an excuse?!
I find it a little strange that some people celebrate the patron saint of Ireland (who was actually British) but let their own national day pass without notice? For the record I don’t celebrate either St George’s Day or St Patrick’s Day so am I just a miserable git or even a hypocrite given what I earlier said about going to the Irish capital on a drinking holiday?