Get into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day


Sir, – I recently received some St Patrick’s Day cards from the United States. They were what I have come to expect, caricatures of what being Irish means to my far away cousins.

I used to get annoyed with them because they did not, in any way, represent the Ireland we know. I have never, not once, heard anyone use the word “begorrah” or “top of the morning” in normal conversation. However, this year I am having a change of heart; I blame this interminable lockdown and isolation for this change in my thinking and I have a suggestion which may bring a little joy and a smile to those who need it.

My suggestion is simply that today we greet anyone we meet with a hearty “begorrah, top of the morning to you”, followed by “it’s a fine soft day” and finish with an Irish blessing such as, “May you live as long as you want, and not want as long as you live” – there are many more examples.

We can end with a new wish, “may we manage to banish Covid-19 with our shillelaghs as Patrick banished the snakes”.

Top of the morning to ye all. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Not only have the St Patrick’s Festival organisers omitted any historical or religious events honouring St Patrick (Letters, March 13th) there is no image of our national flower, the shamrock, on any of their bland promotional material.

The emblem is now an idiotic fat snake – surely we can do better than that; who in Government approved that crude image? – Yours, etc,


Erne Terrace

Dublin 2.

Sir, – According to legend, Maewyn Succat was a non-Irish national, trafficked and forced into slavery as a herdsman in our country and dehumanised to the extent that he had to eat and sleep alongside the animals in his charge.

Universally known as St Patrick, he became the core and the heartbeat of everything Irish. On an annual basis his cloak dresses the great buildings of the world in green to announce our national day.

No one expects that the non-Irish nationals, the trafficked and the homeless that continue to reside amongst us be granted the same standing as our national saint.

Just a human civilised response to their essential needs would be ample and, I suggest, be appreciated by Patrick too. – Yours, etc,



Sir – Having read Wuraola Majekodunmi’s article, “That’s not my name: Why getting the pronunciation right matters” (Magazine, March 13), I had to ask myself: With a name like mine in Ireland, what could possibly go wrong?

Over the years I have been introduced to people by my name as I, and those who know me, pronounce it. That is with a silent “d” and a hard “c”. On more than a few occasions I have heard my name spoken back to me with a pronounced “d” and a hard “g”.

What part of my easily pronounced name did they not hear?

I sometimes wondered if they thought I had been mispronouncing my own name and were trying to delicately correct me. I have never really lost any sleep over it because if my chosen spelling was good enough for Pádraic Mac Piarais and Pádraic Ó Conaire, then it is good enough for me. – Yours, etc,


An Cheathrú Rua,

Co na Gaillimhe.

Sir, – One benefit of the lockdown is that Lent feels much shorter this year.

So much so, I’m thinking it would almost be cheating to avail of Ireland’s Lent exemption – when Lent stops on St Patrick’s Day. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.