I have been watching St. Patrick’s Day parades for years now but this year I saw something novel and unwelcome like a virus.
I saw one of those little persons with the monumental list of grudges abusing a group in a parade and getting arrested for a public order offence.
He was shouting offensive comments and making offensive gestures with his little hands, and making darting movements towards a group who attracted his attention.
He was wittering some inanities about native Irish and keeping Ireland for the Irish and the usual conspiratorial, maliciously motivated, misguided verbal manure.
From time immemorial, it seems, St. Patrick’s Day parades have been a time for celebration of community, of meitheal, of coming together on one day of the year and walking down the main street in many towns and villages in Ireland.
Let’s keep it that way.
And let’s continue to celebrate our openness as a society and our willingness to welcome the other, the stranger, and do the decent, humane thing.
Let the little people drag around their grudges like clanking chains if they wish.