Saturday, 14 March 2015

Mother's Day & St Patrick's Day 2015

With Mother's Day and St Patrick's Day in the same week it got me to thinking anew about the meaning of being Irish. Last year we published a blog about what it means to be Irish with quotes from members of our team. This year our monthly musings drifted more to what traditions/habits/beliefs make us so Irish. 

For me it is family, the importance of family and the role that family play in our lives. Ireland is
without a doubt a matriarchal society with our Irish Mammies shaping past and future generations of Irish adults. A key contributor of who we are and widely used as the subject matter for many literary greats, there is also a fun 'Irish Mammies' book dedicated to these all powerful beings by Irish comedian, Colm O'Regan, as well as a website and twitter page (@irishmammies). Family is at the centre of all things Irish from christenings to weddings to funerals. The final goodbye is sometimes the largest family gathering of all. Officially a time for grieving, we also reminisce with family members, laugh together, cook together, drink unending cups of tea and above all, we mind each other. An Irish family gathering will be at times irreverent, at times somber but at all times comforting and inclusive.

The Irish are one of the most loved nations in the world. Over 70 million people claim Irish ancestry throughout the world. Over 70 million people are proud to have even the smallest drop of Irishness. We work hard and our willingness to 'give it a go' has helped to achieve so much throughout the centuries. Many Fortune 500 companies have Irish senior management such as Anne Sweeney, president at Disney/ABC group, named by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful business women in America. One of our own sons of Galway, Billy Lawless, is well known and respected in Chicago and a great friend of President Obama. Speaking of which, the Irish have 'provided' Presidents to the U.S. on a number of occasions. An Irishman, James Hoban, even designed the White House! 

We have proudly contributed to the wine dynasties of France, Australia and America. Galway in particular features strongly with the famous Lynch and Kirwan families having fled to France and built the Chateau Lynch Bages and Chateau Kirwan vineyards. Other famous Irish names include Phelan, Barton and Hennessy - collectively known as Ireland's 'Wine Geese'.

And of course, every year the entire world celebrates with Ireland
on 17th March  for St. Patrick's Day. In recent years, to mark the occasion, Tourism Ireland have orchestrated a massive marketing campaign based on the greening of well-known landmarks around the world. From the Great Wall of China and Sydney Opera House to the Niagara Falls and the Colosseum in Rome. It is the single biggest stroke of genius by any international tourism agency and an indication of the determination and reach of our tiny nation. Use the hash tag  #GoGreen4PatricksDay to tag your own global greening images. Listen to Liam Neeson as he lent his dulcet tones to this promotional video for Ireland which brings me back to Mother's Day as I first met this wonderful Irish acting giant with his Irish Mammy, Kitty. No matter who you are, no matter where you go - your Irish Mammy will find you!! 

For a small country of 84,421 sq. km and an island wide population of approx. 6.5 million, our influence on the world around us is phenomenal and inspiring. Have a great weekend all, celebrate your Mums - past, present or soon to be. They have a profound affect on us and given the successes of the Irish across the globe, our Irish Mammies are helping to shape the world! Be proud of your Mum and be proud to be Irish!