Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Patrick's Day in the North

Juli, Ashlyn, and I spent St. Patrick's Day in the north of Ireland in counties Tyrone (Northern Ireland) and Donegal (part of the Republic of Ireland, but as far north as any counties in Northern Ireland).  We dropped my mom (who had spent her week of spring break with us) off at the Belfast airport before heading west to Omagh and then eventually Letterkenny. 

While in Omagh we visited the Ulster American Folk Park - a fantastic re-creation of the life emigrants (and immigrants) lived 200 and 300 years ago both in Ireland and in America.  After that we caught the Paddie's Day Parade in Letterkenny.  We stayed in Balleybofey, a village only a few miles from Raphoe where several of my ancestors lived before heading to the American colonies.

While at the hotel in Balleybofey, I read a ridiculous article in one of the British newspapers claiming that St. Patrick had not in fact been a slave in Ireland before returning to preach the gospel, but had instead been a slave trader.  There's not a shred of historical evidence that even remotely points to this absurdity, but that doesn't seem to stop the revisionist historians from delving into their fantasies.  Don't believe everything you read! - Shay

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