With a long history of Irish immigration to Australia, it is not surprising that St Patrick's Day is a day of celebration for many to share their Irish ancestry. With my 50% Irish ancestry (and 25% Scottish; 25 % English) I am certainly among those who claim Celtic origins. Of course everyone is Irish on St Pat's Day and invited to join the celebrations.
For James Gough and his son John, the 17 March was not a day to celebrate. It was on St Patrick's Day in 1841 that a cow was stolen and within a month they were both detained at Berrima Jail for theft. Found guilty, John was sent to Tasmania for ten years and James was sent to Cockatoo Island prison.
But in the best traditions of Irish humour here is a joke to put a smile on your face:
Two Irishmen were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one man digging a hole, the other filling it in again.
An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting in to your work, but I don't get it - why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"
The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the lad who plants the trees called in sick.''
Do you have Irish ancestors? How do you celebrate St Pat's Day? Add your comment.