Saint Patrick's Day almost always comes during Lent. And what a blessing that was in the remote parish of Teampall an Ghleanntáin in the west of Ireland. For there, in that tiny community, when Tomaseen Foley was a boy, the forty days of Lent were days of rigorous penance, when even the most recalcitrant had to forswear all vice the uillean pipes, tin whistles, fiddles and bodhrans fell silent, and dancers were required to still their feet and twiddle their thumbs.
But oh, how that changed on Saint Patrick's Day! When the 17th of March finally came, all penance was gleefully cast aside and the neighbors gathered at each other's cottages for a long night of celebration. The uillean pipes, fiddle, tin whistle and bodhran sprang to life, so that the ancient rafters in those cottages quivered with youth. And the storytellers, the valiant practitioners of the oldest and most revered of all the Celtic arts, brought laughter and tears to the faces of young and old alike. Regard this as an invitation to yourself and your neighbors to join Tomaseen and his neighbors for a genuine Saint Patrick Celebration.
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