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House party for the Irish; ST PATRICK'S DAY.

Byline: By ANNETTE KINSELLA annette.kinsella@mrn.co.uk

COVENTRY'S Irish Society members were turning out in force today to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Coventry's Lord Mayor Cllr John Gazey was among the guests attending an open house party at the group's headquarters in Hill Street in the city centre this afternoon. Guests were being invited to have a pint of Guinness and listen to traditional Irish music and entertainment.

Organisers were also giving out pieces of shamrock.

Group administrator Peter Daly said the celebrations were always well- attended.

He said: "Last year we got about 100 people coming down - it's a great day.

"People like it because it's not held in a pub - it's more homely.

"Sometimes people who knew each other in the 50s or 60s but have lost touch meet up again. It reminds everyone of their roots."

Coventry boasts a large Irish population.

Irish migrants settled in several areas of the city in the 1800s, although the most popular areas were Gosford Street and Jordan Well.

After the Second World War, people from Ireland were actively recruited to work in Coventry's hospitals, on the buses and in the construction industry.

ST PATRICK'S FACTS ST PATRICK'S FACTS

On St Patrick's Day, revellers will raise a pint of stout and wish their companions "SlaintA!"-the Irish word, pronounced SLAN-cha, for "health".

St Patrick's Day marks the Roman Catholic feast day for Ireland's patron saint, who died in the 5th century. St Patrick (Patricius in Latin) was born in Britain. Irish brigands kidnapped him at 16 and took him to Ireland.

Many myths surround St Patrick. One is that he drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea, where the serpents drowned.

By law, pubs in Ireland were closed on St Patrick's Day, a national religious holiday, as recently as the 1970s.

Chicago dyes the Chicago River green on St Patrick's Day.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 17, 2005
Words:315
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