Last Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day and, as you would probably expect, things got a little out of hand here in Ireland. For the most part, I’ve never really done much for St. Paddy’s Day, other than eat some corned beef and cabbage (which, as it turns out, isn’t what Irish people eat on St. Paddy’s Day). This year, however, I was determined to get the full Irish experience.
The day started off with a huge parade right through the middle of city. The parade included everything from traditional Irish dancers to leprechauns to zebras dressed up with pink headdresses. After enjoying some Irish coffee, my friends and I wandered down to the parade to take it all in. Afterwards, we went back to the apartment to make lunch, drink some good Irish beer, and prepare for the rugby match that was scheduled for that afternoon.
At 4 o’clock, we wandered downtown to watch the match at Garvey’s, a pub right in the middle of Eyre Square. The match was a particularly big deal because Ireland was going against England, their ancient rivals. Unfortunately, though the first half of the match was close, England pulled far ahead in the second half and beat Ireland 30-9. Needless to say, it was a glum and solemn group that spilled back out into the rainy streets of Galway.
That said, the disappointing match did not ruin the rest of the day. After having a get-together back at the apartments, we decided to go out for one last hurrah before the end of the day. The streets downtown were packed with people, and most of the bars were so full that patrons were spilling out into the streets. After being turned away from several packed bars, we finally made it into The Hole in the Wall, an establishment that is popular with NUI students. After drinking Guinness and dancing the night away, we wearily returned home, happy and ready to get some rest.