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  • It’s Paddy, not Patty… and other things that irk the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

It’s Paddy, not Patty… and other things that irk the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

A few friendly reminders this March 17

Guinness brewery

Guinness drinkers agree that the famous stout tastes better on Irish soil. // Leanne Murray

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and many Calgarians, Irish and otherwise, will no doubt be celebrating.

I am very proud of my Irish heritage. My parents moved to Canada from Belfast in 1977, and the majority of my family still lives in Ireland.

I am very lucky to have dual citizenship and have spent quite a bit of time on the Emerald Isle.

On March 17, 2018, I visited my cousin in Galway. There were some noticeable differences compared to the many St. Patrick’s Days I have experienced in Calgary.

The biggest difference? No silly and unnecessary green beer!

To wear green or not to wear green

St. Patrick’s Day is without a doubt a big deal in Ireland.

It’s first and foremost a religious holiday celebrating the arrival of Christianity in the country.

Parades and festivals are held in Dublin, Belfast, and many other cities and towns every March 17.

People will wear green and fervently fly the Irish flag during parades, but not everyone dons the familiar hue.

I had a chuckle because I was literally the only person wearing green in the pub after the official ceremonies wrapped up.

You can pay a visit to a Leprechaun cave in Carlingford. // Leanne Murray

St. Patrick’s Day faux pas

I love seeing people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in other parts of the world.

But some things admittedly irk me and many of my Irish kin.

Therefore, I thought it might be fun to share some of those things in hopes of shedding a little light.

Of course, this is not meant to shame anyone who has committed any of these faux pas.

It’s just meant to be educational so they know better for next year and every year following.

It’s Paddy, not Patty

I’ll start with the most common one that is a pet peeve of every Irish person I know.

It’s spelled Paddy, not Patty.

Why? Patrick in Irish is Pádraig, so that’s where the nickname Paddy comes from.

Maybe one day there will be a Patty’s Day celebrating all of the wonderful people named Patty.

But until then, the shortened version of St. Patrick’s Day should always be spelled with two Ds, so as not to irritate the very people the day is meant to honour.

If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough

St. Paddy’s Day is celebrated in many countries, and one of the best things about it is you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy the festivities.

So, don’t claim to be Irish if you’re not.

I know those ancestry tests are super popular, but you don’t have to bring up that you’re 1/16th Irish just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day.

And please don’t try to speak in an Irish accent.

There are at least half a dozen distinct ones and, unless you are a voiceover artist, trying to mimic any accent is just plain cringey.

St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin is a must visit for Guinness connoisseurs. // Leanne Murray

An insensitive drink name

You’ve probably heard of the Irish Car Bomb drink, but you might not understand how incredibly insensitive that name is.

The Troubles were a violent and deadly time that gripped Northern Ireland for three decades. It’s the very reason my parents emigrated to Canada.

More than 3,500 people were killed during the conflict, many by car bombs.

I can only hope that I will see the day when this particular drink name is no longer used. It’s very poor taste.

And speaking of poor taste, why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good Guinness by adding Irish cream and whiskey, anyway?

My Goodness My Guinness

Sure, Irish cream and whiskey are great on their own. But In Ireland, adding anything to the famous stout is considered a huge no-no.

Any true Guinness connoisseur will say it always tastes better on Irish soil, but it is possible to get a decent pint elsewhere—as long as it’s poured correctly.

A properly poured pint of the black stuff is a thing of beauty. The two-part pour takes practice and patience, so don’t rush it.

And don’t even think about serving it in anything other than a branded Guinness pint glass.

A plain pint glass will do in a pinch, but never a glass etched with another beer’s logo. That’s just tacky.

An Irish blessing

However you are spending St. Patrick’s Day, whether you celebrate or not, I hope it’s filled with fun, laughter, and love.

Perhaps enjoy it with a Guinness, a full Irish breakfast, Irish stew, or cottage pie.

Yes, I said cottage pie. Shepherd's pie is traditionally made with lamb, so if the dish you’re consuming has beef, it’s actually cottage pie. (Another tidbit for you!)

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! And, may your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.


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