Posted: Wed 13th Mar 2024

St. Patrick and his links to Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Ireland and Wales share many connections and similarities. On the sporting front, they regularly punch above their weight, most notably in rugby.

Green dominates both countrysides where there are relatively small populations, while the Celtic heritage seen in both native languages still lives on today in spoken language as well as place names, despite the dominance of English.

Arguably the most famous Celtic saint, St. Patrick, connects the countries too, In this article, we’ll examine his Welsh heritage and the legacy he left on not only Wales but around the world. 

The Global Influence of Irish Culture 

Irish influence has crossed national boundaries and can be seen in places and street names across the world. Not only that, but it features in plenty of aspects of pop culture. Popular television shows such as The Simpsons and The Office have had St. Patrick’s Day specials.

While in the gambling world, bingo sites in the UK have plenty of games referencing Ireland, such as Leprechaun’s Luck Cash Collect.

These bingo games give users the chance to gamble surrounded by symbols synonymous with Ireland, like lucky charms and rainbows. In the world of film, there are a number of US-made movies based in Ireland, like P.S. I Love You and Leap Year, complete with less than perfect Irish accents.

 

St. Patrick and Wales

St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on the 17th of March, is synonymous with Ireland globally. Cities and towns up and down the country host parades, while across the Atlantic, Chicago famously dyes the Chicago River green for the occasion, and cities as far away as Seoul, South Korea, light up famous landmarks in the country’s colours too.

What’s not so widely known is that St. Patrick’s connection with Wales is from birth. Born around the 5th century, it’s said that he spent the first part of his life in the Welsh valleys before being captured by pirates and brought to Ireland. It was there in captivity that he found religion, and before, among other things, spreading the word of Christianity and, of course, driving the snakes out of Ireland for good. 

What is his legacy in Wales?

First of all, there are plenty of place names, such as Llanbadrig and Llyn Padraig. The town of Banwen, in the Dulais Valley, has even erected a sign claiming to be his birthplace and celebrates with a small ceremony every year on the 17th of March. While the larger cities in Wales, Cardiff and Swansea, have numerous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the form of bingo and other events. 

According to historic-uk.com, St. Patrick may just be the most famous Welshman in the USA. The first record of a parade was in Boston in 1737, centuries before Catherine Zeta Jones had success across the pond. He may be known for his missionary work in Ireland, according to some, St. Patrick is as Welsh as Glamorgan Sausage or Mount Snowdon, albeit a little bit more famous when you leave the country’s borders.

 

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