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St. Patrick's Day Memories: Malachy McCourt

most vivid St. Patrick's Day was the one where my brother Frank and myself crashed the car in an ice storm on our way to a dinner in Pennsylvania. We both ended up in hospital and the nurse was Hal Roache's niece, I think.

Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade? Frank and myself were booted out of the Limerick contingent because their dictatorial mini marshal did not like our cheery attitiude, and because I was waving to the sidewalk folk. He said, "You are on parade - eyes front!" Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone's music library: Anything by Van Morrison and U2; Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy's first album; Connaught Suite by Bill Whalen, and Black 47 every time. How much green do you wear on March 17th? Green is a very unlucky colour as it a sign of decomposition, so I don't wear any. Blue was St. Patrick's colour, so green is a total mistake. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? How about soda bread? I am a vegetarian. Soda bread is an aphrodiseac for the Irish . . . better than Viagra! Which, by the way, is made in Bantry Bay. I eat it all the time - soda bread, that is. Favorite Irish film? "Odd Man Out" is my favorite film. Favorite Irish book? "Workingmans History of Ireland." Favorite Irish song? "Will you Go, Lassie, Go (Wild Mountain Thyme)." Complete this sentence: The most Irish thing about me is . . . Contempt for Irish conservative traitors, my anti-clericalism, my distrust of any government, my love for the language, my optimism that one day Ireland will return to its Druidic roots and bring our great pagan heritage back to its rightful place.

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