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St. Patrick's Day 2014

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Feb 6th, 2014, 07:38 PM
  #1
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St. Patrick's Day 2014

I'm looking to pick a spot to be in the Northern part of Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. I was thinking about Belfast, but is there a reason their parade is on Sunday the 16th when everyone else's is on the 17th? I'm trying to decide whether I should go to Belfast, Drogheda, or Downpatrick for this special day. I thought the parade would be nice to see but then I was wanting to dip into the pubs and enjoy the crowds. What do you got for me that could help me out with this?
gdouglasw12 is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2014, 11:08 PM
  #2
 
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but is there a reason their parade is on Sunday the 16th when everyone else's is on the 17th?

Easier to organise a parade for a Sunday
alanRow is offline  
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Feb 7th, 2014, 02:02 AM
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If it were only that simple !!

St Patrick is Irish and with folk up north being British (some of them anyway)you get into the usual minefield. Short version St Patricks isn't a big deal up north.

Personally with things the way they are at the moment I would be looking outside Belfast..

Is there a reason why you are not considering either Galway or Limerick which I always recommend or getting the train from Belfast to Dublin for the parade there then get back before Dublin gets silly.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:38 AM
  #4
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I didn't choose Galway or Limerick because my flight out of Ireland is from Belfast International Airport and wanted to spend time at Giant's Causeway.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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Since you will be in Northern Ireland - you probably should skip any St Patrick's celebrations. Could be fine - or could . . . well Tony's word >>minefield<< about sums it up.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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Most St Patrick's Day commemorations in Northern Ireland pass off without incident.

St Patrick is, after all, the patron saint of ALL Ireland, he was born in Britain ("St Patrick is Irish" is just untrue), he's buried in Northern Ireland, and the day's commemorated by services not just in the Catholic churches of the British Isles, but in those of the Anglican Communion, including the Church of Ireland.

The day is celebrated officially in the UK - for example by shamrock being presented to the Irish Guards (last year by Capt William Wales and his wife, whom he married in his Irish Guards uniform).

The problem is where St Patrick's Day parades in the North do something to upset local Protestant extremists, and it's got slightly nastier over the past year or two by excessive triumphalism among the IRA members of the provincial government (though usually well after the parades themselves, and after a few hours of serious drinking in both sides' pubs).

That's never, as far as I'm aware, been an issue at Downpatrick, where there really is a cross-denominational tradition of observing the day. There wasn't any trouble in Belfast or Drogheda last year, but there is some irritation in Belfast about public funding of the day, and it doesn't take much for one hothead on either side to turn a pleasant march into an orgy of petrol bombs getting thrown at the police.

Check with the local tourist office when you're there about current rumours. You're right to say it's ridiculous heading south to avoid the slight possibility of a bit of argie-bargy at closing time.
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