Saint Patrick’s Day in Marshall approaches, and this year it falls on a Friday, so you might be starting to think about local bars and restaurants here in Marshall that will be serving traditional fare such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, Shepard’s pie and of course, green beer. You will be digging out green items from your closet to wear so you don’t get pinched, as is the tradition for this day. Oddly enough, as much as this is often a holiday that includes parades and a fair amount of beer drinking, you might be surprised to know that for many years, Irish bars were actually banned from being open on St Patty’s day itself. Why? Maybe to keep the peace and quiet, but now, there will be parties, parades, and fun abounding in the big cities across America.
Here is a fun fact about the man himself:
Saint Patrick wasn’t even Irish – he was born in Britain. Irish raiders took him, prisoner, when he was just 16 years of age. During his captivity in Ireland, he learned about the religion of the country that held him for the six years he was imprisoned and thus became a devout Christian.
Legend has it that he thought he heard God’s voice in a dream, and God told him to leave Ireland. He escaped but had a later dream in which an angel told him to return to Ireland, and he became a priest.
The Irish are an incredibly proud people. Irish Americans love their great food, music, and even acting heritage. It seems like Irish people are exceptionally talented. Ireland has given us so many famous entertainers. This is unsurprising, as storytelling is a big part of Irish heritage and history. Thus Ireland has produced some of the world’s finest actors, and Hollywood has created some of its finest films by incorporating these folks.
To name a few:
Liam was considered one of the top ten Irish actors in Hollywood, born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. You may remember him from his lead role in Schindler’s List in 1993. He went on to star in Michael Collins, Gangs of New York, and has even acted on Broadway.
Peirce was born in Drogheda, County Louth, and started his acting career on television. His most significant role was Remington Steele. He later landed the role of James Bond, 007, and was in four of the Bond films. He has a comedic side which he showed in Mrs. Doubtfire alongside Robin Williams and even sang (though maybe not super well) in Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep.
And then there is the heartthrob and one of the best-looking Irish actors in Hollywood, Dublin-born Collin Farrell. Colin won a Golden Globe for best actor for his role in In Bruges. He was nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Banshees of Inisherin but did not take home the prize this time. This past Sunday, he attended the 95th Oscar celebration and took along his 13-year-old son, Henry.
This incredibly talented actress starred in over 60 films in her lifetime, including classics like The Quiet Man and Miracle on 34th Street. She was born in Dublin in 1920 as Maureen FitzSimons and was in films from the 1940s to the 1960s
Saoirse was born in The Bronx, New York, but her parents were Irish. When she was three, they moved back to Dublin, and later she returned to America to become a movie star.
Movies to watch on Saint Patrick’s Day in Marshall!
The Quiet Man – 1952 (an oldie but a goodie)
Starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, this classic film was directed by the incomparable John Ford. The film was actually shot on location in Ireland. Wayne plays an Irish American boxer who returns to the family farm in Ireland, where he meets and falls in love with Miss O’Hara. While an excellent film for its rich Irish movie history, it is dated by its tropes of stereotypical portrayals of Irishmen as drunks with misogynistic natures.
Waking Ned Devine – 1998
This film has been described as Weekend at Bernie’s with an Irish twist. Ned Devine dies of shock before he can claim his lottery-winning prize. He has no family, and the townspeople decide he would have wanted them to have his winnings. Hence, they create an elaborate scheme to fool the lottery inspector. It’s a fun romp, good for family fun.
Far and Away – 1992
This is a visually beautiful film directed by Ron Howard, which starred Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. They leave Ireland for the American west and get tangled up with an Irish ward boss. It’s a bit angsty but engaging. Just don’t expect much where the accents are concerned.
Though the movie is called Brooklyn, much of the film is set in Ireland. Saoirse Ronan stars as Ellis, who is sent to Brooklyn from her small village in Ireland to Brooklyn for work but later have to return to Ireland. She is in a love conundrum as she meets a man in Ireland that suits her heritage but is already in love with an Italian-American boy back in Brooklyn. Should she choose her new life or her old one? Watch the film to find out.
P.S. I Love You 2007
Hilary Swank is an Irish American widow whose Irish husband (played by Gerard Butler) dies very young from a brain tumor. Knowing that he is dying, he leaves notes for her to read afterward that takes her on a journey to the homeland. This romantic drama, based on the book by Irish author Cecelia Ahern, is a total tear-jerker.
We’re all Irish for the day!:
Whatever you do this Saint Patrick’s day, be it going out and about in Marshall in search of fun, food, and green beer or staying home to bake soda bread and watch movies, we wish you the sentiment of this old Irish saying:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.