An Irish Celebration

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By: Sinead Dalton

The Fields of Athenry, Whiskey in the Jar, Molly Malone; does this sound familiar? I’m sure at one point in your life the words of these songs have floated among you or at least someone you know has a past heritage relating to a country located over 10,000 miles away. For the past two centuries many different people have made Australia their home and yet there is one race in particular whose culture, music and tradition have survived the test of time. On Sunday the 17th of March, all over St Kilda and Melbourne Irish pubs were bursting at the seams with those who raised a glass to celebrate St Patrick!

While we are aware of the crippling economic crisis hitting the shores of Europe at the moment, it does make you wonder why migration seems to be a common occurrence. The 1800’s saw convicts transported; a majority of who had committed the smallest of crimes. By the early sixties, Ireland witnessed its lowest drop ever with a population of only 2.8 million and now the Celtic Tiger has decided to bite back; targeting not only those who prospered but also the working class, many of whom are paying for the corruption and deceit of others. For the past 200 years families have been torn apart and friends have drifted to try and make a better life for themselves and once again history is repeating itself. The Irish Central Statistics Office have conveyed that 87,100 left in the year 2012 and furthermore here in Australia 89,911 people who filled out the census form of August 2011 citied Ireland as their country of birth. While I’m not here to bore you with statistics, it can make you ask the question: so how do the Irish recover from this? Well it’s simple; we make the best of what we have. I find that where ever you go in the world, where ever you may be, I can guarantee you that there will be an Irish person (or pub) to be found. Yes, if you haven’t guessed already I, myself, am Irish and even though I may be speaking from a biased point of view it is on this day that the Irish make sure we remember what we have come from but also what we have left behind.

While St Kilda is renowned for its quirky café’s and artistic life style, it was a chance for Australians to embrace a festivity with a difference. The Pint on Punt, located on Punt road, hosted yet again another fantastic paddy’s day. With live music throughout the day from Brian Lynch, Zeon and Scrump, it was almost as if you were among the green grass of home. When interviewing Evan Mahony, manager of the Pint on Punt, he described the night in one single word: “massive”. There is no doubt that the drink flowed and the dancing never stopped. Even though the bar closed at 12.30 this didn’t stop the Irish, as the next day the pub was once again filled with those eager to continue the celebration and some to try and find a cure from the mad night they had before.

So if you have not done so already take a night off, step outside your comfort zone and head towards your local Irish pub; I guarantee you will leave with a smile.

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