Saint Patrick’s Day in Fair Caledonia 2018

For the day that’s in it, I hope you have adequate supplies of craic wherever you are.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

It is great to see such a full programme for the Saint Patrick’s Festival in Glasgow this year.

Regular readers might recall that in recent years three of my stage plays have been performed as part of the festival.

In 2015 and 2016 the first two parts of my Glasgow Irish trilogy premiered in the city at this time of year.

Of course, an integral part of the Saint Patrick’s festivities around the world is the parade.

This is where the city of my birth is atypical, abnormal even.

Now, there is a march today in Glasgow.

I’m told it is an anti-racism event and fair play to them.

Of course, the oldest racism in Fair Caledonia is anti-Irish racism, although many are still in denial about that.

There is also a literature festival in Glasgow today.

I do not know if they have ever explored the dearth of positive Second Generation Irish (2GI) characters within Scottish literature.

It is almost as if official Scotland wished that we didn’t exist.


The fact that the Aye Write people are holding their conference on Paddy’s Day might make the organisers think about that.


My happiest memories of this day are watching my own trio as primary school kids taking part in the parade here in Donegal.

Of course, this day is really for Irish exiles and the diaspora.

Saint Patrick, for what we know of him, was not Irish born, but he became Irish by choice

I get that.

He was also almost certainly a victim of human trafficking into Ireland.

For me, it was Burns and Laird from the Broomielaw…

It was a long road home to where Patrick became the embodiment of Irishness across the planet.

If “one Scotland many cultures” is more than a marketing slogan then Glasgow needs to do some work.

For the avoidance of doubt, that would include a Patrick’s Day parade and a city centre memorial to An Gorta Mór.

Both Labour and SNP City Council administrations have not seen fit to grant permission for such a memorial.

There is a plan from within the Irish community to build a Famine memorial in the grounds of St Mary’s in the Calton.

That merely sets in the stone the extent to which the Irish experience is still publicly disregarded in Glasgow.

Sadly, the most recent cultural expression from Glasgow apropos Irishness is the Famine Song.

You starting to see the problem?

Everywhere else that the Irish settled they have contributed massively to their new home.

Moreover, that contribution has been recognised,

On this day, from Boston to Buenos Aires there are parades and a lot of grá for this little island and the people who have an attachment to it.

Is there some reason that Glasgow does not have a Patrick’s Day parade?

For me this is the day when I think of summer holidays in Mayo when I realised that I had a deep and genuine attachment to this island.

I didn’t have to become an amateur genealogist to find my Irish connections.

My Mayo grandmother took me by the hand to introduce me to relatives.

Lots of relatives.

Moreover, that connection made me somehow different.

This is also the day when I smile that wherever they go in the world on their journey my three Gaeilgeoirí proudly identify as Irish.

The Big Fella is currently in South Korea.

Being Irish and not being in Ireland is a key part of the Irish experience and I’m happy to report he’s passed the test with flying tricolours.

Last Christmas his mother and I organised emergency supplies of Tayto, two Gah jerseys, and a sliotar.

He also put in another request.

He wanted a tricolour and a feckin big one at that!

His Korean workmates think that being Irish is pretty cool.

It is.

Unlike their parents, mo pháiste have not had to endure a society that systematically denigrates Irishness.

This is where they belong.

Their day has come.

It can be your day too.

If you feel Irish then you’re one of our own.

It has been a long road home.

Have a great day.

76 thoughts on “Saint Patrick’s Day in Fair Caledonia 2018”

  1. My children’s Grandmother was born in Ireland. They were born in London,England to Scottish parents of Irish descent . So if the boys and the girls were good enough to represent their country of choice they could have had the choice of three !! Their cousins had the choice of five !! They have an American father whose father was born in Africa – although this part got complicated, we never got the full story .
    But Hey, Its Love that makes the world go round after all. Vivre La Difference !

  2. Just a thought if Glasgow’s blue team are looking for a more experienced coach than the young mr Murty
    has no-one being heralding Steve Clarke ? Or is the team he supported as a boy the problem ? …..Kilmarnock ?

  3. The spring event of the Bothwell Horticultural Society, held on St Patrick’s day (yesterday), was given the title: “Potato Day”.

    The douce, gentile, nice, middle class folks of posh Bothwell evidently do their racism in a more subtle fashion than the grunts in Kilsyth.

  4. Had a wee chuckle at the pundits on radio snyde yesterday the pain they where going through talking after the defeat for rangers .Everyone of them said the same thing everything is on the semi final now . Really no mention having to finish second in the league everything is on the semi final until what they get beat in that then it needs to be second place what they like . So from a title challenge last week to putting all their eggs in one basket of scottish cup this week. It’s as if 2nd place will take care of its self a think Aberdeen and Hibs will have something to say and do about that 4th place for ken Dodd and his diddymen.

  5. hi phil
    had a great day for paddy,s in guardamar in spain in the shamrock bar . rugby on all day sing song for all scots ,irish welsh spanish russian norwegian yes even the english a great day for all . and you wonder why i left scotland .

      1. Was in Dundee City Centre and along the Perth Road at the weekend. Saw loads and loads of folks celebrating Paddy’s Day. Seems to have gathered momentum over the past few years. Looked like a great day with so many young people lapping up the fun and nonsense as they celebrated the day with the dark stuff and ‘sponsored’ green attire. I am not blind to the issue of sectariansim at all and do have real concerns about where we were in Scotland and where we may be going with certain elements of our our re-embittered society but I ask for a little bit of balance please Phil. There are so many of us Scots who have no truck with any racist or sectarian agendas. It’s bad enough for me to have to admit I am from a nation that would rather be managed by another country than to have it being blanketed as being anti-Irish too. I have great admiration for the Irish – a bit of their self-confidence and sense of national identity would do my country well. More power to your elbow but please remember there is more to us than a ‘klan’ mentality.

  6. They say a week is a long time in politics I wonder what they say about football. This time last week the huns where going to be beating us on the Sunday and Kilmarnock the following Saturday and be joint top of the league before we played motherwell. Fast forward that week and now the bennys on their own blogs and websites are having a reality check .They are now seeing it for what it was Fake News. The so called challenge for the league from joint top one week to celtic now looking to possibly going 12 points clear with a game in hand . Watch as they try to unsettle killie and their players and manager with links to Clarke and Jones in the game after the split comes round just as they did with Aberdeen. A so called journo at the Daily Rectum Sunday Fail has put it our there for today’s feelgood factor Fake News that Murphy will sign permanently in the summer must try harder if you want to please the huns with something better than that .Why couldn’t it take place in January then no cash and no cash now keep the Fake News stories coming from whatever level 42 sing lol sorry level 5 as the bennys listen to anything.

  7. Oldco lied through their teeth to the SFA to secure a UEFA licence in 2012.
    Many of those on the Oldco board are now on the Newco board.
    Leaving aside UEFA’s FFP conditions how could the SFA issue a licence to the same people responsible for the 2012 deceit?
    It was common knowledge at the time that without access to European football Oldco would have collapsed even sooner than they eventually did.
    The last official word on this from the SFA came from Regan when he put forward the tax bill not crystallized myth, a huge porkie.
    For 6 months plus now the Compliance Officer has been burning the midnight oil to shine some light on the SFA licencing process…….so we have been told.
    You have to feel sorry for the poor chap as he attempts to find words that absolve Newco from the sins of Oldco without shattering the continuity myth.
    Just as Oldco’s debt had nothing to do with Newco and was dumped then the fraudulent UEFA licence will follow suit despite the fact that many of the current board, or people with a significant interest, were on the premises as the 2012 fraud was being perpetrated.
    However UEFA might not be so easily sidetracked and will be extremely cross that a club has lied to secure a licence and that the licencing process in Scotland is so slack that our football authorities didn’t pick up on it.
    Fraud is a serious criminal offence with no time bar. Aiding and abetting a fraud and covering up a fraud are also criminal offences.
    When the Compliance Officer completes his rewiew his first port of call should be Police Scotland Fraud Squad.
    Those who 6 years ago thought that they could get away with the biggest fraud in Scottish football history must be brought to justice along with those involved in the subsequent cover up.
    There should be no hiding place, no excuses, so come on Mr Compliance
    Officer 6 months is more than enough time.
    Let’s shine a light on the lies and deceit and send a very strong warning to those who in the future think that they can subvert Scottish football to suit their own agenda.

  8. We have enough problems with bigotry here without inventing more. No St Patrick day’s parade? So what? We have no St Andrew’s day parades. In the countries that do have parades for St Patrick it is the citizens with Irish connections that organize them so, instead of blaming others for not doing something that is your responsibility, why not get off your butts and organise one. The Scottish government and local councils don’t organise the abhorrent spectacle that is an Orange parade either. It seems that some of complaints sent your way on the SFM site do have validity Phil. A bit of introspection is needed I suggest.

  9. Ah while we celebrated St Patricks day wee coco was crying floods of tears about his team .He has just posted an article on today’s defeat and oh he did not let us down . Apparently rangers and rangers fans where more scared of facing Kilmarnock today than celtic last weekend does this benny never learn anything. Murty and a few players got it in the neck from this clown even the great god morelos was slapped down for his poor play of the last couple of games . His words to describe Alfredo and his value has PLUMITTED oh dear it was wee coco himself who pushed it out there don’t take 11 million hold off until after he has a good world cup and get more again for him 15 to 20 million. A don’t know what this clown drinks but keep drinking it as the more he drinks the funnier he come out with stuff .

  10. There’s a great play coming to Glasgow soon. “Blood upon the rose”. Might already be sold out but if not get yourself to it. Fantastic show! Seen it myself…I need to see it again if/when it comes back to Ireland

  11. Phil, You are correct that if you have an Irish born grandparent you could qualify for an Irish passport. However, I believe your grandparent had to have been alive when you were born in order to qualify.

  12. Happy St Patrick’s day watched the rugby sank a few Guinness thought of my grand’da who was a carndonagh man all’s good in my part of Scotland. HH

  13. At my local football club, Merstham who play in the Isthmian Premier League (the 7th tier in the English football pyramid) we had an all-day St Patrick’s day celebration (£2.50 for a pint of Guinness). In Auckland, New Zealand they held a St Patrick’s day party in advance of the forthcoming cricket test series v England. New York is famous for its St Patrick’s day parade. But nothing in Glasgow, my city of birth. So sad!

  14. My mate took great pleasure in sending me a picture of the Orange walk going though Kilsyth today, even said stick your ear out your back door you will hear the music. I should not be subjected to this nonsense on any day never mind paddy’s day. It’s about time people stood up and marched against this carry on, but that would coz trouble we wouldn’t want that, would cost to much to police, funny that. How much does it cost every year to police the orange order walks. I was in Kirkintilloch years ago, was in a local shop and said to the girl behind the counter “didn’t realise there was a walk on today” union jacks everywhere, she told me it was a walk to commemorate 100 years of the death of Irish workers burnt to death in a Hut at eastside Kirkintilloch . There were people spitting on children for holding Irish flags while taking part in the walk. No arrests, Jamie carragher would be proud.#scotlandsshame. #localcouncilarenobetter

    1. My brother married a Kilsyth lassie atSt Patrick’s Chapel with the reception to he held at Burngreen Welfare Hall. The condition was that we would decant the celebrations when the walk returned from their adventure. Unfortunately the Pied Chapple vever led them to deeper enough river.
      As you can imagine the rage and anger seethed and bubbled to a point where it exploded and recidivist and turnip head reprobates were challenged on every front.
      Wiser heads from the wedding party
      and police intervention, successfully defused a dangerously volatile situation
      Several learning points came out from this.
      1. We weren’t afraid of the these fools and triumphalist marches.we would go wherever we wanted to go.
      We wouldn’t be sitting at the back of the bus or giving our seats away, only if we decided.learned from RosaParkes. We challenged them everywhere even resulting in boxing matches.
      We wore our origins ,education,our identity with great pride, almost bordering on ,should I say it, Entitlement, and why not?
      Once upon a time Kilsyth was a really nice wee town,but it did have a fair amount of the monobrowed ,knuckle dragging ,hairy toed ,webbed footed ones.
      Sadly from the post above , it appears to continue their expression of their Kulchur and traditions,.Fannies!
      Kilsyth==Battle of Boyne. Explain.

      In all of my 65+ years I’ve never really hated any body or thing permanently. Any time I’ve said that it has a turn of phrase maybe used in anger, and disappears very quickly.

      This entity is my one tru hate , and will always be. Not because they hate me or us ethnically,religiously,socially,Their great sense of entitlement, triumphalism, elitism, discriminatory practices In employment practices.
      Rubbing our faces in it with the old”what school did you go to?”
      “Read ma Fuckin C.V “ I posited forcibly. The English MD got where I was going with my outburst. Surprisingly I got the job.


  15. A great St Patricks day today plenty of celebrations galore .Even more celebrations with the result at ibrox .And then you have wee coco from ibrox noise celebrating because Windass got POTM award and a couple of their on-loan players got picked for Scotland. But the best bit of it all is when coco told us its been a great week for his club oh dear the bennys and their comedy gold just goes on and on . So getting beat and played off the park at ibrox by your rivals with 10 men also in the last week somehow makes it a good week ah wee coco he does supply us with top entertainment.

    1. I live in Kilsyth and am disgusted that the council would allow this, this only embrouls trouble. In this day and age live and let live, but if we want to celebrate, they have too make a point and a very childish one at that. #scotlandsshame. Why was this allowed and policed and why was the March before the last newfirm allowed with no arrests even tho @policescotland seen it as am illegal match. Disgusting this is the society we live in

  16. St Patrick was ‘almost certainly a victim of human trafficking into Ireland.’

    Is it not more likely that he chose to leave nasty, bigoted Scotland in favour of Erin’s green valleys ?

    1. Whit, in the 5th Century. Dear oh dear. On what basis, would he have been the subject of bigotry. You will be telling me he was a Celtic supporter next. Read up on Dalriada, you might just find that he never felt that he left “Scoti ” at all.

  17. Happy St Patrick’s day to you Phil, as someone with 8great grandparents who were Irish It is somewhat annoying that I can’t get joint citizenship as I would like to remain an EU citizen after the English nationalists drag us out of the EU .Lets hope that one day the majority of Scots will have the pride and confidence in their own country to vote for independence and become a nation once again ,just as Ireland did ninetyseven years ago.As I send this message I see Ireland are 21-5 ahead in the rugby what a great night of celebrations to come ,enjoy.

    1. Dear Micheal McCartney
      Ireland did not become a nation again 97 years ago as part of that nation is still under foreign rule also I also wonder why anyone can wish for a so called independent Scotland but be under the rule of Brussels in so many ways?, how would that be true independence. Ask anyone who think being under the rule of the EUROPEAN union is the correct way to be, who the eu president is etc, and 99% of the time they don’t know or who elects them etc etc, I am sorry to say this but Scotland is a lost cause as a independent nation, it will always be now a hassle of England or/Aand the EU, the fire, that was made clear at the independence referendum, the fire and passion has been lost, we have been watered down by the saxon and now by the EU , (ONE SCOTLAND MANY CULTURES) propaganda and social engineering, at least the ENGLISH (who i dislike as a nation) have still got the guts to stand up as a nation as shown by the brexit vote.

      1. Where to start. Firstly Scotland will become independent very soon. The majority of young people who are not influenced by the Daily Mail (obviously your publication of preference) will lead us to a prosperous, modern self sustainable nation. The morals and values of the young Scottish people are so at odds with Westminster’s return to slavery policies. The reaction to the Scottish gov budget recently showed everyone all we need to know. The minute you threaten to tax the extremely wealthy the media go crazy. They would rather the poor and disabled were on the street than help them. If that’s the kind of society you want to stay part of, good for you. I don’t. And for your information neither does Brussels.

      2. Brexiteers like yourself really need to understand the nature of being a member of the EU.

        We keep hearing that ‘we are taking back our democracy/sovereignty’ by leaving the EU.

        This is nonsense. There is still a parliament in Westminster!

        Being a member of the EU is like being part of a members club like any other.

        If you want to be a part of it then you must abide by its rules and regulations just like your local golf club, Masons, etc.

        You do not lose your freedom or autonomy by being a member of a club from which you benefit greatly.

        Independence for Ireland . Independence for Scotland. It’s a simple mantra but at least it’s not hypocritical.

  18. “And when you look down from your mansions above….
    Bless the war against Sevco….in the fight for the Cup.”
    Happy Birthday St. Patrick.

  19. Phil as i txt this im in the abbey hotel in donegal tow watchin the egg chasers happy st paddys to one and i couldnt go to my own home in west cork as i have americans renting it for a yr so im up in your kneck of the woods.🇮🇪🇮🇪🇮🇪

  20. Phil I am proud to be of Irish descent. My dear old grandfather hailed from the Falls road. His whole family moved over here where he met and married a Scots lass my grandmother. I did not know I qualified for an Irish passport. Interesting, thank you and all the best to you and yours. Happy St Paddys day.

  21. Slainte Phil
    To St Patrick a glass from everyone of Irish descent far and wide.
    As much as we’re put down cream always rises to the top.
    Raise a glass to your fathers and forebearers.
    And don’t forget MAMMY
    Slainte one and all

  22. Get yourselves over to Coatbridge plenty of festivities remembering and celebrating our Irish heritage 💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚Hail Hail

  23. Slainte to all. I will be over to see my Monaghan Brethren in the Summer, the families in fair Caledonia keep them dear to our hearts.

  24. Phil, I could have set my watch by predicting your narrative today. A bit like when I was a boy. Same sermon, same Sunday every year. I am not against St Patrick’s day parade in Glasgow . However, I fear that we have many of our own who would shame us, with extremely anti-social drunken behaviour. You see most thing’s of that ilk over here link to a drunken football culture, and the celebration of real Irish culture is missed. I attend Celtic Connection’s in January every year. I suggest you trying attending one year, however it may not suit your agenda, as all the Scots and Irish get on really well, and respectfully and we alway’s find that we are basically one and the same. History will also back that up, a long history and not just an unfortunate relatively short chapter, polluted by the British mindset.

      1. Like, many of your reader’s, I thankfully don’t do the Pied piper thing.
        I have alway’s been able see things openly , thankfully you have a blog that allows me express that.
        Happy St Pats day.

  25. Until there is a parade in Glasgow to commemorate St Patricks day I will remain ashamed of this disgrace of a bigoted country I live in.

    1. Can you name another country that has a celebratory parade in Glasgow? We don’t even have one for St Andrew’s Day. It’s not a Glaswegian or Scottish tradition by any means. Also, as far as I know, if anyone wanted to have a parade and organise one, then absolutely no-one would prevent it from happening. Goodness knows, the Irish have no shortage of legitimate grievances but this is purely manufactured.

  26. Isn’t there anyone or any organisation out there who could organise a Saint Patrick’s Day parade each year?

    Hopefully we would be mature enough to keep the parade Irish and apolitical.

    What’s to stop us?

    How could permission to hold such a parade be declined?

    Let’s stop grumbling about it and do something.

    Mind you we would have to form testudo through several gauntlets of missiles and verbal insults from some of the peepul who would object to such a parade.

    1. To best if my knowledge a parade is held up the garngad every year. But with all respect that’s hardly an official City Of Glasgow March is it.

      It’s hardly going to get out there to all the visitors and people and those from other areas of Scotland visiting Glasgow. To say this is the Irish, newly, recently, paternally,maternally, ancestral links, we or generations before us came from Ireland. This is who we are, and you are most welcome to join in.

      The Mela celebrations in Edinburgh and Glasgow are awesome examples of how Scotland, took in from hardship (Ugandan Indians ) needed (labour from Pakistan and India), and the legacy of intertwined cultures….

      there is only one reason the Irish aren’t afforded this….. that’s The Peepel. Shower of shit that they are.

      They are the problem. They are an embarrassment to Scotland.

  27. As someone at least six generations Scottish on either side of my family, I would like to see a famine memorial in Glasgow.

    Us dwellers in Great Britain have scarcely covered ourselves in honour in our dealings with the Emerald Isle. I feel it’s about time we owned our own past, and admitted the complicity of successive British governments. After all, we can go back several centuries with that one.

    Healing starts with admitting you have a problem.

  28. The Klan always give bemused looks when I respond to there suggestion to “go back home”. When I say I am home they get annoyed and angry. I then have to explain that my ancestry can be traced back to the Picts, you know, those guys with the blue tattoos and fondness for nudity that sowed so much fear among the Romans.

    Still, both of my grandmothers where Irish and there is a lot of green tinted blood in my veins. Maybe it’s time to get dual citizenship and stick two fingers up to the Klan and this BREXIT malarkey?

      1. Indeed you do
        You have got to prove it though, you will need your grandparents birth cert, baptismal cert is also ok, and marriage cert and your parent, their birth cert and marriage cert and your birth cert, all certified copies, not sure how it would go without these if they were not married? oh and does not matter what part of ireland it was, none of that partition crap comes into it.

        please spare a thought on St Patricks day for a Glasgow team who got gubbed again at home.

        Hail Glorious Saint Patrick dear Saint of our Isle

  29. Happy St .Patricks Day Phil,and to anyone who has the Irish blood running through their veins and are proud of it…Like your good self i hearld from unfair Caledonia, born in Greenock but parent’s moved us all to England/Yorkshire, and I’m glad they did, i can proudly walk around my town with either a Celtic or Ireland shirt on without a problem, there’s St Patrick parades in Leeds, Halifax,Manchester, Liverpool ect ect, but not in dear Glasgow, that alone says everything about a …..Ahem…Modern Scotland… ERIN GO BRAGH.

  30. Happy St Pats, unfortunately in Kilsyth, North Lanarhshire council (Labour & Tory coalition) sanctioned an Orange Parade on St Pat’s. This is the contempt they feel towards the Irish diaspora living in Scotland.

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