IF I see another shamrock or a dancing leprechaun with a ginger beard and silver buckles on his shoes, I’ll reach for my comedy inflatable shillelagh and do someone a mischief.

As an Irishman, I cannot stand St Patrick’s Day. I’ve tried for years to get into this whole Green pint and ‘top o’ the morning to you’ schtick, but I just can’t do it anymore.

I tried this morning, sending out a wee ‘Happy St Patrick’s Day’ message on social media, but, damn, I felt a conman. I mean, firstly, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool atheist. Why am I celebrating some saint who wasn’t even Irish?

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I’m all for celebrating Irish identity. I mean, clearly, centuries of colonisation tried to knock any sense of Irishness out of us, so we should big ourselves up, just like every other nation.

But, oddly enough, I don’t get a rush of cultural pride when I see drunken Americans dance down the thoroughfares of Dublin, or Boston for that matter. And why do Americans insist on calling it ‘St Patty’s Day’? If you’re going do the whole cultural appropriation thing, and get misty eyed for the Emerald Isle because your great granny ten times removed came from Connemara, then at least get the lingo right.

It’s as if all notion of what it means to be Irish gets boiled down to a few songs by The Dubliners. And then there’s the hats. The bloody hats. Hats shaped like pints of Guinness. Leprechaun hats. For pity’s sake. 

Evidently, we brought this on ourselves. 

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