17 May 5 Friyays: March 16
Dia dhuit (dee-yah gwitch), dear readers! That’s Irish for ‘hello’ or ‘God be with you’ more specifically! It’s Dr. Hinson, AR’s resident Irish-American coming to you today for a very special, St. Patrick’s Day-themed 5 Friyays. Having both spent over 5 years living on the island of Ireland, the Good Doctors are always looking for interesting, thought provoking, and hilarious news stories about our beloved wee island. What did I find this week?
1. I’m starting today with a PSA. Dr. Donnelly and I both campaign every year for the correct pronunciation of St. Patrick’s Day. It may not seem like a big deal to call it St. Pat’s or St. Patty’s (both derivatives of Patricia and not Patrick) but as a dear friend from Ireland pointed out this week, it would be like calling Independence Day – Indepetty’s Day – which I imagine would upset most Americans. The accompanying image was posted in Dublin Airport a few years back and is shared by their social media accounts every year. Ye’ve been warned!
2. In joint celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and Women’s History Month, I loved this article from the Irish Times highlighting the 25 fearless women who shaped Irish history (most of whom have been relegated to the sidelines or downright forgotten). Celebrating the national holiday should include the opportunity to reevaluate the accepted histories of women on the island and their role in Irish culture and society!
3. Ireland is a fascinatingly distinct linguistic region. There are over 30 regional dialects in Northern Ireland alone (a population of 1.5 million), which means that slang words and phrases vary from town to town (literally). Dr. Donnelly and I picked up many phrases and words that are unique to Ireland, most with some relation to the Irish-Gaelic language. This brilliant list shows that we can thank the Irish for many words we use today, including boycott, galore, whopper, hillbilly, and avocado (to hipsters eternal delight)!
4. If anyone wants to learn more about Irish history and culture, I recently became aware of the Irish Passport podcast. They cover a range of issues from the Irish border and Brexit ramifications, to the Famine, abortion issues, and the idea of a reunified Ireland. I can’t wait to dig into their perspectives!
5. As a historian, I have found many representations of Irish and Northern Irish history in America that veer from accuracy. Recently added to this long list is a beer by the Chicago-based Rebellion brewery named for Gerry Adams. Until March of this year, Adams was the president of Sinn Fein, the largest Irish republican (very different from American republican) political party on the island. Adams was heavily involved in the conflict in Northern Ireland both as an alleged member of the Irish Republican Army and a leading Sinn Fein politician. His influence in Ireland and America cannot be understated. However, the brewery’s description of Adams for their launching of Adam’s Best, is short and historically inaccurate. It’s a complicated history to be sure, but when you’re dedicating two lines of text to naming your beer, it’s not hard to be correct.
Ending on a rather sour but important note, that’s a wrap on my Paddy’s Day themed 5 Friyays. Enjoy the celebrations this weekend and hopefully you learn something new from my curated! Dr. Donnelly will be back with our regularly scheduled Friyays next week! Find out anything interesting about Ireland this week? Be sure and comment below to let us know!