Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day and Waterford Connections

In the mid-seventeenth century, the 17 March became a Holiday of Obligation in the Catholic Church. Already celebrated by the Franciscans, Saint Patrick's day was included among the official saints' days by Waterford-born Franciscan Luke Wadding, appointed to the Congregation of the Breviary in Rome.
Wearing of the shamrock and pota Phádraig (drowning the shamrock) were the traditions, and the heavy drinking on that day remained cause for concern through the eighteenth and nineteenth century. There was then a movement to make Saint Patrick's Day a National Holiday, with the implication that all businesses, including public houses, would close for the day. This was adopted in 1903. Here is a letter, in which Waterford Corporation declared that on Saint Patrick's Day, no business would be conducted in the city.
For full article, see Decies 65, pp107-109.

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