Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Tens of thousands of people will join the St Patrick’s parade through Birmingham today. They will be joined by millions of people throughout the world in a celebration of Ireland and Irish culture.

I have visited Ireland a few times, and was taken to see Croagh Patrick – the mountain bearing St Patrick’s name - on top of which he was said to have fasted for 40 days. I confess I didn’t climb the 2,500 feet to the top, as many thousands do each year in pilgrimage. But a walk on nearby Bertra beach provided some beautiful views.

Many people in our city trace their roots back to Ireland, and value their Irish heritage. I wish them, and all those who will join them today, a happy St Patrick’s Day!