Family and Friends

Sláinte – Cheers in Irish!

Photo (c) Laureen Lund

Photo (c) Laureen Lund

Curiously there is about seven times more American’s claiming Irish descent than there are people in Ireland. And recently I am one of them.


I never knew about my Irish heritage until just two years ago when I began my genealogy research. I was always told my Dad’s side of the family was English, but I had never heard we had Irish roots as well. It’s one curious thing about lineage – you often loose the female line – and that is what happened (I’m also French but I’ll wait to write about that on Bastille Day!)


My Dad’s ancestors did come mostly from England, but there is a strong Irish connection. So ever since I learned this I feel a wee bit o’ the Irish celebration bubble up on Saint Patrick’s Day.


I decided to do a little research however, and I learned something interesting – Saint Patrick himself was from England! He was born in Roman Britain, and kidnapped and brought to Ireland later by Irish pirates. But he became the patron saint of Ireland, which is why he’s celebrated there today!


American’s (Irish or not) have made Saint Patrick’s Day a beer drinking, green wearing party day – but did you know Ireland only ranks 4th in a list of the world’s biggest per capita beer consumers – Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany all have it beat.


My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland next August. This will be my first time there. Time to find my roots among the lovely lads and lassies. I think we will visit Sruffaunoughterluggatoora. Yes that is the name of a town in County Galway.


We will likely also visit the oldest pub in Ireland, Sean’s Bar, which was founded in about 900 AD, making it over 1,100 years old. While at Sean’s we will have a pint or two (or three) of Guinness. Did you know it takes 119.5 seconds to pour a perfect Guinness – it’s an art and a science.



So celebrate responsibly, Irish or not, and “sláinte” (cheers!) to one and all on this Irish – Americanized holiday.


Note – thanks to Liberty Travel for all the great trivia about Ireland. Learn more.

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  • Reply Nancy Rimel

    My mother Elizabeth Jane Shanahan thanks you. I loved Ireland. It was curious though in Dublin I looked for Catholic churches seemingly thinking I would find a statue of Saint Patrick. I was told-quite staunchly that i was not in a “catholic church” and they do not worship statues. Oh my-a wee bit of anxiety towards Catholics. The huge church was named after a saint so I assumed…not received very well. Oh well-still loved ireland. Followed path of Rick Steves back in the day…Really liked Killarney and Dingle out on the west coast.

    March 14, 2016 at 11:31 pm
  • Reply Nancy Rimel

    Forgot to say-they still speak Gallic in Dingle….fun to hear the language of Ireland spoken.

    March 14, 2016 at 11:32 pm
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