Saturday February 22, 2020

Forget plastic shamrocks: our patron saint has more to offer

The traditional Paddywhackery is all very well - and lucrative, but St Patrick’s Confessio, now online, reveals him as a brilliant and surprisingly resonant writer

17th March, 2019
A man dressed as St Patrick poses for a selfie at the parade on O’Connell Street in Dublin PA

‘My name is Patrick,” it starts. “I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many.”

I grew up thinking St Patrick was many things, but I never knew he was a writer. The above is the opening to his Confessio (in the translation by Pádraig McCarthy). It is an exemplar of the art: clear, arresting and intriguing.

...

Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!

Exclusive offers:

All Digital Access + eReader

Trial

€1

Unlimited Access for 1 Month

Then €19.99 a month after the offer period.

Get basic
*New subscribers only
You can cancel any time.

Annual

€200

€149 For the 1st Year

Unlimited Access for 1 Year

You can cancel any time.

Quarterly

€55

€42

90 Day Pass

You can cancel any time.

Team Pass

Get a Business Account for you and your team

Related Stories

State catching up with higher-than-average increase in number of new companies

Rachel Lavin | 2 days ago

Refusing to discuss Irish unity no longer makes any sense for the DUP –talking about a united Ireland is not the same as supporting it

Deirdre Heenan | 6 days ago

A Sinn Féin-led government would have many implications for the country, from tax on banks to the housing market to a border poll

Ian Guider | 6 days ago