Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why I Love the Irish...

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Cozies! Or as my sister likes to say, "Happy Excuse to Get Drunk Day!" The green beer isn't the only thing I love about St. Pat's. It all started when I was five. My first St. Patrick's Day memory harkens all the way back to the first grade. The class was coming back to our classroom after lunch and we opened the door to find little green footprints trailed across the long line of windows. There were gold doubloons filled with chocolate littered all across the windowpane. After an experience like that, how can anyone not believe in leprechauns and love St. Patrick's Day?

Another reason I love St. Pat's is because I have ancestors from The Emerald Isle. Although I've never been to Ireland (must remedy that soon), when presented with pictures of the country I feel more of a connection to it than any other land. I feel as much for crumbling Irish castles, the country's misty moors as well as its rain and verdant green hills as I do for my beloved hometown here on the coast. I like to think the one thing besides my complexion I get from my Irish lineage is my storytelling abilities. Oh, and my love of potatoes and bagpipes, of course!

The thing I love most about the Irish is their impact on television, movies, and literature. It is said the Jane Austen herself loved an Irishman. James McAvoy played that delightful hero, Thomas LeFroy in Becoming Jane. In the documentary show Who Do You Think You Are? in which celebrities trace their ancestral roots, Jeremy Irons found his Irish heritage. The frontman of one of my favorite bands, Bono, is also Irish as is James, make that Pierce Brosnan. Though they play the rogue (sometimes in real life), Colin Farrell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are both from the Emerald Isle. In fact, Jonathan portrayed a good Irish hero in the movie August Rush. The always lovely Liam Neeson is a product of Ireland, too. My most recent favorite Irish hero is Branson from Downton Abbey. Branson may not get as much screen time as Mr. Bates or Matthew Crawley but he certainly shows his Irish every time he walks onto the scene in his chaffeur uniform - which he wears quite well ;)

In terms of the romance genre, it's hard to beat Nora Roberts's Irish heroes. It started out with her Born trilogy and continued later with the Gallaghers. (Aidan still makes me swoon!) Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, is still one of my favorites. Nora carries her love of the Irish into her J.D. Robb books. In fact, I think the character of Roarke embodies the perfect Irish hero. And I'm convinced, if ever Hollywood wanted to give us a little Roarke, Gerard Butler would be the suitable choice for the role. That is, Gerard as seen in Timeline and heard in P.S. I Love You.

If you're looking for a good ol' Irish read this St. Patrick's Day, I highly recommend Kris Kennedy's The Irish Warrior. Finian is up there with Roarke when it comes to ideal Irish heroes.

It's your turn, Cozies! What do you love most about St. Patrick's Day? And if you have any favorite Irish heroes, fiction or non-fiction, shout 'em out! Most of all, here's wishing you the luck of the Irish today and always!
I'll leave you with this quick flying trip to Ireland as well as a fun link: Why Guinness is Good for You!

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