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St Patrick’s Day – What’s Your Story?

4 min read

By Rupert Shanks
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What's Your Story?

Ireland’s most remembered day is celebrated all over the world.  Our team shares some of their St Patrick Day memories.

St Patrick would no doubt be fascinated to hear how he’s remembered.

Patricia Doe

Patricia – General Manager

I rode horses a lot as a child and every St Patrick’s Day until my mid-teens was spent at a nearby hunter trials (cross country competition), so really all of my St Patrick’s Day memories centre around this.  One memory stands out: This particular year, my sister and I had already won the open pairs competition, beating all the adults, and so I was feeling pretty smug. 

Pride comes before a fall, literally in this case, and I was flying along until I arrived at the final water fence.  ‘Fence’ is perhaps a too glamorous word for what was really a smelly, muddy hole in the ground (health and safety wasn’t so much of a concern back then).  We cruised over the first obstacle into the water where my horse tripped and both of us went for a swim. 

Aside from damaged pride, a few scratches and duckweed in our ears and boots (literally) we were both fine and finished the course.  I did not have a change of clothes, however, so the rest of the day was spent in freezing cold shame.  To this day I always pack spare kit wherever I go!”

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Louise Kavanagh

Louise – Adventure Consultant

As I was brought up in the country my memories of St. Patrick’s Day are of getting up early, dressing in some form of green and my dad going out to pick fresh Shamrocks to pin on our coats to go to Mass. We’d come home and feed the pet lambs before heading off to the local village to watch the parade which consisted of local Irish dancers, local bands and tractors! We would be allowed some chocolate as St. Patrick’s Day was the only day we could break lent, come home to a big family dinner. It was always a great family day.”

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Dawn Rainbolt – Marketing Executive

“Brought up in the suburbs of Washington DC (USA), St Patrick’s Day was always an exciting day for me, involving parades, extensive outfits involving as much green as possible (why? Who knew! But it was fun and avoided you getting pinched). As I grew older and moved abroad, St Patrick’s Day meant finding an Irish pub in whatever city I was in at the time (I have memories of celebrating in pubs in Ronda, Spain; Warsaw, Poland; and Lyon, France wearing silly hats and drinking a strange green drink). This will be my first St Patrick’s Day in Ireland!”

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Darragh Devaney

Darragh – Marketing Manager

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, like many Irish cultural traditions, become intensified when they travel abroad. My own childhood memories of St Patrick’s Day tend to be interspersed with images from the New York parade, seen on the 9 o clock news. The contrast between local festivities, which involved lines of honking farm machinery and fistfuls of sweets thrown into the air, and a 40ft St Patrick waving his staff at the Empire State Building, couldn’t have been greater. And yet, unusually for the news, it was always a feeling of togetherness that we were left with afterwards.”

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Rupert – Videographer & Visual Storyteller

“Years ago I spent a few months travelling in South America with a couple of friends. I arrived in Buenos Aires a day before St Patrick’s Day completely unaware of the impending chaos. As we were staying just outside the city we thought it might be a fun reminder of home to try and find an Irish bar for a pint of Guinness on the big day! What met us instead I ‘ll never forget. 40,000 people swarming the streets dressed in ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ hats and wee ginger beards, swilling Guinness by the bucket load! Amazing times.”

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Meet the Author: Rupert Shanks

“After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Ireland and works within the Marketing team.”

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