A very good morning to you Shamus!

Any morning I wake up Pat is a good one!

A scattered people with humour and talent

By Roger Childs

No doubt many of our readers, like tens of thousands of other Kiwis, have some Irish ancestry. In the 50 years following the Irish famine in the 19th century, over half the population of Ireland migrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. They took with them their talents, culture, religion and good humour, and subsequently made huge contributions to the development of their new homelands.

Today is St Patrick’s Day and in many shops, supermarkets, rest homes, bowling clubs and work places people have been wearing silly hats, costumes and even wigs of the colour green. This colour is closely associated with Eire, and the country is well known for its green countryside. However the national flag also has a strip of orange: a colour associated with Protestants and Northern Ireland.

“We’re looking for a Treasurer for the Xmas fund”, said Paddy.
“Didn’t you take on a new one last month?” said Murphy.
“That’s the one we’re looking for”, Paddy replied.

A rich culture develops despite a tumultuous history 

Ireland has had a tragic history and the centuries are littered with battles, massacres, discrimination and bitter sectarian and nationalist conflicts such as English v Irish, Protestant v Catholic, RIC and the Black and Tans v the IRA, Republicans v Free Staters.

The English under Henry II took over Ireland back in the 12th century and this set in train antagonism that would last until the end of the 20th century. However, through it all the Irish developed a rich culture which was expressed in the Gaelic language, writing, poetry, drama, music and dance. 

This is country of Jonathan Swift and W.B. Yeats, Riverdance and Enya, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, Edna O’Brien and Colm Toibin, U2 and the Corrs, to name but a few of their many cultural stars through the ages. 

An Irish priest was transferred to Texas and on his first morning he noticed there was a jackass lying dead in the middle of his front lawn. He promptly called the local police station.

The conversation went like this:

“Good morning. This is Sergeant Jones. How might I help you?”

“And the best of the day te yerself.  This is Father O’Malley at St. Ann’s 
Catholic Church. There’s a jackass lying dead in me front lawn and 
would ye be so kind as to send a couple o’yer lads to take care of the 

Sergeant Jones, considering himself to be quite a wit and recognizing the foreign accent, thought he would have a little fun with the good Father, replied, “Well now Father, it was always my impression that you people took care of the last rites!”

There was dead silence on the line for a long moment ….

Father O’Malley then replied, “Aye, ’tis certainly true, but we are also 
obliged to notify the next of kin first, which is the reason for me call.”

Good humour

The Irish were often the butt of bad English jokes where the Irishman was seen as a simpleton or the village idiot. However, in the modern era Irish humour is widely enjoyed and is often the sort that has people falling to the ground in gales of laughter.

There have also been some hilarious Irish films in recent years such as Waking Ned Devine. Many of you will have seen this one, based around a small village which has the winning ticket in the Irish Lottery. The only problem is that Ned, the ticketholder, is dead!

Colleen dropped a Euro coin, intending it to fall into the blind man’s hat on the pavement, but missed.  As quick as a flash, he scooped it up and put it in the hat. “You’re not blind” she said.  “No I’m not” said Paddy, “It’s Murphy whose blind.  I’m just filling in for him while he’s gone to the pictures”.

You be havin’ a good day now!