Ireland, World Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Despite War Threats, Insurance Rate Hikes

March 17, 2003

Irishmen and women, would-be Irishmen and non-Irishmen around the world took to the streets to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day March 17, in a joyous celebration of the “wearin’ o’ the green.”

Despite the increasing build-up to war in Iraq and the raises in premium rates the industry has made for covering the costs of insuring the celebrations against liabilities, the annual celebration of Ireland’s patron Saint seemed to be going ahead in a traditional manner.

A BBC report from Dublin described an open-air festival (a somewhat rare event in the rainy country) that’s been going on since Saturday night. Centered on the capital city’s Merrion Square, the festival features amusement park type rides, the performance of Irish pop groups and “Paddyoke – Irish style karaoke,” not to mention lots of Guinness.

Fireworks lit up the quays of the Liffey on Saturday night, and a large parade is scheduled to be held today, that will wind its way through the center of town. Organizers told the BBC that they were obliged to pay somewhat higher premiums than last year to cover potential liabilities, but indicated that sufficient funds had been raised to do so. Across the country organizers apparently faced the same problem, but were also largely able to come up with the money.

Erin Go Bragh and Slainte!

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