Saint Patrick’s Day. I’m not Irish, but I have happy memories of frequenting some of the great Irish pubs in downtown Toronto during my teaching days. Ian Clary (of Irish descent) and I would frequent McVeigh’s which at the time had the look of a front for the IRA. Looks like some fresh paint today, though the murals remain. We would also go to the flashier PJ O’Brien‘s regularly. Although it is said to have “the best pub food in the country” according to the National Post, it is the place where my wife had the worst food poisoning in her life. I still loved O’Brien’s and the bad food experience was a one time anomaly. I was usually irritated by the Sunday Saint Patrick’s Parade because it meant that getting across downtown after church was a task of nearly unending futility.
Such are some of my memories on Saint Patrick’s Day.
If you are looking for a Patrick biography, read Michael Haykin‘s. Great stuff on Patrick as a missionary and a model of Christian piety.
On the history of the celebration of St Patrick’s Day, read Meagan Fitzpatrick’s piece for CBC here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/st-patrick-s-day-tradition-made-in-u-s-not-ireland-1.2997187
Finally, this is my article at the National Post from a few years ago: