Happy St Patricks Day?

Happy St Patricks Day from Northern Ireland. It feels no time since I was writing the same words a year ago, when the country was in lockdown and all the pubs were shut. And, here we are, 365 days later, still in lockdown and all the pubs are shut. There will be no parades, no music and the black stuff will not be flowing. We’ve all been told to stay at home and dig in. Next year will be better our leaders have promised, which is exactly what they said last year.

Northern Ireland entered lockdown at one minute past midnight on 26 December, the third time the country has pulled down the shutters since the pandemic arrived last March. All non-essential shops remain closed. Cafes, restaurants and bars have yet to re-open. Churches, gyms and hairdressers have been given no real indication as to when they can open their doors again. It’s fair to say the majority of people are now well and truly fed up of it all.

Our political leaders unveiled a ‘roadmap to recovery’ a few weeks ago to almost universal criticism. It provided no dates as they maintained any relaxation of restrictions would be data driven. When people dared to ask to see this data they were told that wasn’t possible as it was far too complicated for the public to understand. The roadmap did nothing but cause additional confusion and resentment.

Schools are a prime example of the unfolding chaos. First we were informed that some primary children, but not all, could return for two weeks but then had to remain at home the following week to allow older years to attend. This was then changed so they could remain in class for the additional week before being amended again yesterday to allow all primary years back before the Easter break. Don’t worry if this makes no sense to you as I don’t understand it either and I wrote it.

The only positive spark is that some outdoor sporting activities are permitted again from 12 April. This means Adam and Rebecca can return to their respective teams, to train at least. We don’t know when they will be allowed to play competitive matches but it’s a start. The caveat is that the infection rates and hospital admissions must remain low. They have been falling for some time now, a combination of the continued lockdown and vaccination rollout.

These are tough times indeed and I hate to sound like a moaning minny but the blog is often the only medium whereby I can vent my frustration and utter exasperation at the situation. There are only so many cliches you can dredge up about ‘being all in this together’ and there being ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’ We’ve been told this for a very long time now and it’s become a tired, largely meaningless line. This must the the longest tunnel in the history of very long tunnels.

My drinking days of debauchery are long behind me but I do feel sorry for the many people who regard today as a highlight of the year and look forward to drowning their shamrocks in time-honoured fashion. I only hope people behave and refrain from the temptation to flaunt the regulations on our national holiday today. It’s just not worth it and you could well end up with a hefty fine if caught by the authorities. Police patrols are being stepped up around the country.

I’m tempted to say next year will be different, that we will be back to normal and all will be well again. But bitter experience has taught me to hold fire on such utterances for fear that I will be writing these same words again on 17 March 2022. Wherever you are, if you have a drop of Irish blood in your veins, enjoy the day the best that you can. But please be safe, act responsibly and think of others.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

21 thoughts on “Happy St Patricks Day?

  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The bars are open here but I’ll be staying home. No parades … that would have been this weekend, anyway. I have a small corned beef to cook with a nice cabbage & red potatoes & carrots. A nice luncheon for me in the early afternoon. With strong tea! Happiness!

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  2. This is definitely a different St. Paddy’s day as well here in the US. I actually had the opportunity to spend St. Paddy’s day in Dublin one year in what seemed like another life. That was an adventure. Good times. Stay hopeful. This may all be over soon.

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  3. Thinking of you during these confusing and frustrating times. In the US – Texas, specifically – there will be loads of drinking and debauchery as nearly every business is fully open if choosing to be. Regardless of my own opinion on the full open status, I’ll be home wearing the obligatory green apparel! Cheers!

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  4. So, maybe this year is a good time to get back to the original purpose of the day – celebrating the man who brought the Christian faith to Ireland.
    Although my friends and I were never able to do the St. Patrick’s Day parade outreach we had organized, I am holding out hope for next year.
    Meanwhile, there is absolutely no reason not to share what we have with as many people as we can.
    A fun way to do it is to share a little quiz – “It’s St. Patrick’s Day … So, how much do you REALLY know about St. Patrick?” And as you share the life of this ordinary man in the hands of an extraordinary God, the gospel unfolds painlessly, the Truth is made known, and – who knows? – a soul might be saved.

    Here’s the quiz we used:

    https://seekingdivineperspective.com/2020/03/17/who-knew/

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  5. Hang in there—there’s always a corner up ahead. Pray for the patience needed to remain sane and for the guidance to the forces making these life-change decisions for us. Best wishes.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your honest emotion, and encouraging thoughtfulness towards others every step of the way within that.

    My dad has always reminded me that sometimes people vent, and they’re not looking for a solution. The simple phrase, “that sucks”, and a listening ear are sometimes all that is needed to be a good friend and a good help.

    Thank you again for sharing honestly. Once again, kia kaha to you and family. ♥

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