Irish contribution’s been great, to be sure

Yesterday was a grand day for the Irish. Of course, when your handle is Michael Anthony Patrick Aloysius Francis Xavier McGlone, St Patrick’s Day is always going to be special.

The Irish are not always given to logical thought processes and Ireland’s patron saint was not of Irish blood.

But we’ll claim him. After all, he did rid the Emerald Isle of snakes.

Which probably means he took his holidays in New Zealand, because I am told there are no Joe Blakes in the Land of the Long White Cloud. 

And that explains why the mighty All Blacks become quivering wrecks whenever they are invited to go for a walk in the Australian bush.

There have been some black stains on the history of Ireland, but they have been mostly in retaliation to the atrocities committed by the English.

And unlike the English, the Irish never went out conquering other people’s lands, murdering the locals and their culture as part of their conquest.

Unfortunately, there is a maudlin gene in the Irish which is carried down from generation to generation.

Or as the poet William Butler Yeats wrote: “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

Which might seem a bit harsh, but Yeats was a Dubliner so he was able to get away with it.

And there have been many claims about the Irish temperament when attending their locals, such as: “They started off drinking, singing and dancing, then they were crying and they finished off the night by fighting.”

But the Irish are also a very generous race of people. For example, although they invented the kilt, bagpipes and whiskey they are always willing to acknowledge the Scots vastly improved these products.

They have also done a lot for the world. Ask yourself, where would the New York Police Department have found their sergeants in years gone by without a ready supply of Irishmen to call on? 

And by being the finest singers and dancers on the whole planet, how much joy have the Irish provided? And how many people, who have no ties to Ireland, celebrated St Patrick’s Day by taking the day off work and downed many pints of Guinness while dressed in green?

Once again, just another example of the Irish commitment to helping others to have a good time (even if they don’t always themselves).

There’s a saying there are two types of people in the world: Those who are Irish and those who wished they were – an undeniable statement of fact.

And what would we do for humour if it wasn’t for the Irish? There are so many props and situations for people to work with when giving it to the Irish: picks and shovels, barrels, bottles, Maureen being found in bed with her lover by her husband, the lack of success of the Irish water polo team at the Olympics, Irish submarines and much more.

But you have to wonder why, with all these props to work with, there are only two names ever mentioned in jokes about the Irish: Paddy and Mick.

Unfortunately, there has been much discrimination against the Irish in Australia over the years. Which is why my mother won’t let anyone call me Mick – she regards it as a derogatory term from earlier times.

I hope you all had a good time celebrating St Patrick’s Day. But just remember the title of that particular county is Derry – and not Londonderry.