THE BLOG

On ... The True Facts About Saint Patrick - As Every Irish School-kid Knows Well?

17/03/2013 13:31 GMT | Updated 16/05/2013 10:12 BST

Being Irish myself, and as any Irish school-kid knows well, Saint Patrick was the man who brought hymns and sandals to the Emerald Isle (so called because emeralds was what they used as money back then). He was about eight feet tall, and arrived - walking - by sea on a pebbly shore somewhere around county Down, wearing a big, big long green and gold robe (which made him float across the Irish Sea like a Dalek), and a green and gold pointy hat on his head (teacher says it's a mitre) because he was really smart and needed room for his brain to grow. He was also carrying a crosier (a big hooky stick), which he brought especially for pointing out to sea as he told the snakes to feck-aff, which was his main reason for coming to Ireland in the first place. Snakes are all Satan's brothers and sisters, and that's never a good thing according to the bible.

By all accounts he was born in Wales, Scotland, and France, was the son of a slave, and carried sheep around on his back for a living, that was until the Pope sent a message for him to come to Rome, learn about Jesus - because that's who you need to learn about if you're going to go around driving out snakes - he was then to go straight back to Ireland, tell the snakes to feck-aff, then show the Irish how shamrocks have three leaves, just like God, and teach them the recipe for Guinness. Oh, and he also taught people how to form pipe bands, parade down streets, and how to make green dye for pints and the cream on Irish Coffees.

When Saint Patrick arrived on the county Down, pebbly shore, the snakes came to greet him. Snakes aren't all that smart, what with being Satan's brother and sisters. They were mostly anacondas, because Sean Maguire told me they can swim an' that, so they lived in the bogs, and ate sharks, and that's why Ireland doesn't have any of those either.

When he'd driven the snakes out, Saint Patrick liked Ireland - mostly as there were no snakes now, they had gone off to live way at the bottom of the ocean, and that's where eels and sea-snakes came from (Sean Maguire knew a lot of stuff) - but also because we could have the craic (which is pronounced 'crack' - for those people not from Ireland - and means goin' mad in the head with enjoying yourself). Saint Patrick spent his days out in the fields appreciating the beauty and wonder of nature and the 'green lushness of the isle', and the evenings went for a pint to some pub, where he spoke about Jesus, and told jokes (clean ones of course) to the locals, who wouldn't have heard them on account of Saint Patrick coming from Wales, Scotland, and France.

Saint Patrick wasn't always called Saint Patrick, and at one time he was just Patrick, before the Pope decided he need some kind of title or the Irish wouldn't take him seriously, as they take very little seriously, and just act the eejit all day long (my Da told me that one). His real name was Maewyn Succat, but he chose to be called Patrick (Padraig in Gaelic - but that was hard for Saint Patrick to say, so he chose the first one) mostly because that's the most common name in Ireland and he'd be a fool not to (my Da told me this one too).

When he was done teaching Christianity to the Irish, Saint Patrick died, and is buried under a big stone in Downpatrick, which was handy it was called that, and probably why he wanted to be buried there. On his feast day - so-called because we all eat spuds on that day, in honour of Saint Patrick bringing the potato to Ireland - we go to church, and sing a hymn about the big mansion he went to live in when his soul went to heaven, and how he looks down on 'Erin's green valleys' with his love. He really was some lad (my Da again).

Remember this now, when you're taking the pint this March 17th.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day - or 'Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh', as we say in Ireland - have a great ould day of being Irish, and wetting the shamrock - and remember that isn't about taking a funnel to your mouth and emptying a flagon of booze into your gut ... it's just about having the craic (see article above).

Slán go fóill - as we also say in Ireland 

My movie of the month:

Battlestar Galactica (all of it, including Caprica). Yes, yes, I know it's not a movie - but it is worthy of mention as such. The episodes where chapter-like in make-up, and the screenplay, setting, character portrayal, the sheer size of it was totally engaing to the point of being an obsession. Arguably one of the best written, cleverly mastered televison programmes of the decade. It's just fanatastic stuff.

My album of the month:

Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion - (OR US title: You Filled His Head With Fluffy Clouds And Jolly Ranchers, What Did You Think Was Going To Happen? - Fight Like Apes. Singularily - or sould I say collectively, coz they're a band - the best thing to happen to Irish music this side of the Big Bang. Fight Like Apes, or 'FLApes' as they call themselves - are loud, irreverent, bolshy, and just a hard, crashing delight to the ear and mind. This is an older EP, but you really have to check them out - they have wide Ireland/UK/international touring calendar, and play most of the festivals. You'll love'em.

My book of the month:

Life of Pi - Yann Martel. I saw the film, which prompted me to buy the book - not my usual way around of doing things, but I'm glad I did because, although a great film, the book contained so much more, and opened up, clarified to me bits and pieces I had wondered about. It really is a beautifully written and crafted story.

My artist of the moment:

Paul Hickey; London. Once in while someone comes along who has vision, nerve, and the raw rebellious energy to take some materials and turn them into stories. As a writer, I like my art to speak to me, to tell me something, and to just plain please the eye. Paul Hickey's work does all that for me - so much so, I had to track him down and buy one. You can see what he does so brilliantly at:

http://paul-hickey.com

Martin Treanor

Author: The Silver Mist

More information about the Martin and his novels can be found on his website: www.MartinTreanor.com.

The Silver Mist - #1 on Amazon Metaphysical Fiction Bestsellers - is available in paperback and Kindle/eBook format - via both UK and US Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, iTunes, Bookiejar, Waterstone's, John Smith's Bookshops, WH Smith's, and all good high street and online stores.