Composition and Programming by JAP
Listen to the Irish Language... (GAELIC)
There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
|1. St Patrick's Day in New York (video) 17 March 2004|
|2. Ireland, a country profile (A)|
|3. Ireland, a timeline (A)|
|4. Northern Ireland (A)|
|5. 1972: Army kills 13 in civil rights protest (B) (with video)|
|6. Exercise 1: IRELAND|
|7. Exercise 2: SAINT PATRICK|
THE IRISH SHAMROCK
The origins of the shamrock are lost in
antiquity, but legend suggests that it was used by St. Patrick in the
fifth century to demonstrate the meaning of the Trinity. The shamrock is
found on Irish medieval tombs and on old copper coins, known as St.
Patrick's money. The plant was reputed to have mystic powers... the
leaves standing upright to warn of an approaching storm.
It is said that Patrick had a time of it
trying to convince the people he met in Ireland to believe in the Holy
Trinity. Reflecting for a moment, Patrick plucked a shamrock from the
earth, and pointed to the three leaves on the shamrock, living proof of
the Holy Trinity. Since then, the Shamrock has become the symbol of the
land of Ireland.
The Shamrock is not an official emblem of Ireland. That honour is reserved for The Harp. But it is used as a popular 'national' brand by all sorts of State Bodies and commercial concerns. Probably the most visible of these internationally is the Irish national airline Aer Lingus, with its heart-shaped trefoil on the tail of each plane. On St. Patrick's Day every year, Aer Lingus flies fresh shamrock to Irish Embassies all over the globe for their traditional National Day diplomatic parties. Irish uniformed personnel everywhere are also presented with Shamrock to wear for the day.
In written English, the first reference to the Shamrock dates from
1571, and in written Irish, as seamrog, from 1707. As a badge to be worn
on the lapel on the Saint's feastday, it is referred to for the first
time as late as 1681. The Shamrock was used as an emblem by the Irish
Volunteers in the era of Grattan's Parliament in the 1770's, before '98
and The Act of Union. So rebellious did the wearing of the Shamrock
eventually appear, that in Queen Victoria's time Irish regiments were
forbidden to display it. At that time it became the custom for civilians
to wear a little paper cross coloured red and green.
As a symbol of Ireland it has long been integrated into the symbology of the United Kingdom, along with the Rose, the Thistle and the Leek of England, Scotland and Wales. So today, on St. Patrick's Day, a member of the British Royal Family presents Shamrock to the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army.
THE MAGIC SHAMROCK
Three is Ireland's magic number. Hence the Shamrock.
Numbers played an important role in Celtic symbolism. Three was
the most sacred and magical number. It multiplies to nine, which is
sacred to Brigid. Three may have signified totality: past, present and
future / behind, before and here / sky, earth and underworld.
Everything good in Ireland comes in threes. The rhythm of story
telling in the Irish tradition is based on threefold repetition. This
achieves both intensification and exaggeration. Even today in quality
pub talk, a raconteur can rarely resist a third adjective, especially if
it means stretching a point.
"Three accomplishments well regarded in Ireland: a clever verse, music on the harp, the art of shaving faces."