Paddy and Mick are walking down the road and Paddy’s got a bag of doughnuts in his hand.
Paddy says to Mick, “If you can guess how many doughnuts are in my bag, you can have them both”

Ah Ireland…

Yes, it’s that time of year again to honour one of history’s greatest saints.

I mean, here’s a well-to-do Roman who was enslaved in Ireland, escaped, and returned under his own free will to bring his religion to the savage and barbaric (but everyone agrees, pretty interesting) people he came to love.

And they returned his love ten-fold as history (and the phone book) shows.

For those who don’t know, Ireland (or Éire, then as now) was one of the first civilisations where woman had pretty much equal rights and were renowned warlords, excuse me, war ladies, and leaders.

Check out Queen Maeve, (or Medb or Meadhbh depending on the speller) if you want the story of one powerful, very cool woman who history somehow passed by…

The very name Éire, the official state name of Ireland since the 1937 constitution (which still recognised Ireland as the English title) evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of an ancient Irish goddess. Ériu is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland.

OK, we digress, as anything Irish is likely to do (this author admits to passionately kissing the Blarney Stone…) but the point is taken that men and women both took to the new religion with equal fervour, something unusual for the times, hastening its rapid spread.

(An Irishman, by the name of O’Malley proposed to his girl on St. Patrick’s Day. He gave her a ring with a synthetic diamond. The excited young lass showed it to her father, a jeweller. He took one look at it and saw it wasn’t real.

The young lass, on learning it weren’t real, returned to her future husband. She protested vehemently about his cheapness.

‘It was in honour of St. Patrick’s Day,’ he smiled.

‘I gave you a sham rock)’

And twenty points and a free beer at Chaa Creek’s Jungle Lounge for the first person who can explain the significance of the shamrock to Ireland, and while it’s held in such high esteem (answer at bottom of page unless we decide to hide it)

Anyway back to good Saint Patrick…

The men and women took to Patrick’s powerful message of doing unto your neighbor, as you would have done to yourself. That was first and paramount in his teachings, and struck a major chord.

So as a first step, the Irish stopped the age-old lucrative slave trade in its tracks, became the graceful people they are famous the world over for, and they went on to following his other dictums.

In a big way.

Say what you will about Christianity, but St Patrick almost singlehandedly turned the Irish from a warlike, savage people dealing in slaves to rather devout folk who, it is argued, saved civilisation by hand-copying all known literature during the dark ages (OK, they, must have had candles or something, but still..)

For a good read get “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill.  It’s about a lot more than Ireland.  Fascinating, well written and all true.  Imagine a thinking man’s “Game of Thrones”…

However, as we know, this poor country had some bad luck. A massive potato blight and ensuing famine, a conquest led by well-paid mercenaries from the British aristocracy that is still being fought in some quarters today, and an inordinate fondness for a beverage whom they invented, named and is still in constant usage today – whiskey, from the Irish uisce (sounds like whiskey), meaning water. In early Irish it’s uisce beatha, or water of life. By the early 1600s usquebaug was in use and soon shortened to the whiskey we use today (keep the “e” if you’re a Yank or a Mick or just cool)

(Q: Why did God invent whiskey? A: So the Irish would never rule the world).

But this is meant to be a HAPPY story, and so it is. The Irish roamed the world and usually did rather well for themselves.

(What’s the difference between God and Bono?

God doesn’t wander around Dublin thinking he’s Bono…)

So everywhere, and we do mean just about everywhere, St Patrick Day parades are being held with as much gusto as the local pockets can handle. Entire rivers are dyed green.  Even the non-Irish become Irish for the day, and believe me, those trusty old “Kiss me I’m Irish” button or neckties still works wonders.

Even in Bali they’re serving green Bintang Beer, and for the totally insane (even by Irish drinking standards) there’s green Arak, local rice based concoction we won’t go into here…

But don’t expect such lavish wonders in Belize. Instead, you get down -home cheer and homemade decorations in town.  The Lodge at Chaa Creek is undoubtedly the place to be as far as an upscale yet casual, fun loving clientele. Excellent food and an extensive, climate controlled wine list, Cohibas on a specified downwind veranda well outside and great camaraderie. Especially as the evening wears on…

Here in Belize, the Irish immigrated in great numbers, and you’ll see many Irish surnames around the place. The Irish also took it upon themselves to build churches and schools, some of them excellent and attracting solid Irish professionals.  No one doubts that Sacred Heart College, in San Ignacio for example, has produced some of Belize’s finest. Its alumni list reads like a who’s who of top achieving Belizeans.

So all in all, you don’t need to be of any religious persuasion to celebrate good old St Patrick while in Belize. His influence is still to be found even here and now. And like everything in Belize, it’s casual.

And, at the very least, it’s a well worn “get out of jail card” with the missus when you come home late, “But darling, we were celebrating a saints Day!”

Better still, bring her along. It’s the Irish thing to do, and she and Queen Maeve will think that very cool behaviour.

Bring her and your and her friends to the Jungle Lounge at Chaa Creek for some extra special Irish cocktails, Irish music, and a night that’s certain to impress.

Talk about made in the shade.

But most importantly, wherever you are;


Erin Go Bragh!

(OK, it means Ireland forever)

And, as a bonus, we’re throwing in ten essential Irish sayings:

1. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

2. If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.

3. Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!

4. If you’re enough lucky to be Irish… You’re lucky enough!

5. May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.

6. A man may live after losing his life but not after losing his honour.

7. “All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.” – Sean O’Casey

8. You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.

9. It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.

10. It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!

(The Shamrock is of significance in Ireland because that’s how St Patrick taught Christianity to the people = how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all made one beautiful plant covering the hillsides.)

And in case you get a case of   “It will really make her/his day…”

How to call Ireland from Belize:00 – Belize exit code to dial first when calling international
353 – Irish country code must be dialed next
00 + 353 + Local Number
– Overall dialing code format

You may also like:

Leave a Comment