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The Irish Connection

16 March 2012 by Lucy

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days of the year (except for Christmas and Derby Day). It’s St Patrick’s Day, and if you’re not in Ireland, Liverpool really is one of the best places to celebrate.

The early 19th Century saw half a million Irish people settle in the city, and the country’s music and culture has thrived here ever since. So much so, that we have our own Irish Festival, which takes place in October each year.

The Museum of Liverpool celebrates many of the cultures and communities that have made the city their home, and the Irish connection can be seen throughout the galleries whether it be through music, poetry, exploring the Scouse accent or politics.

The Atrium in the Museum of Liverpool

This spiral motif was found on Neolithic stones in South Liverpool

In fact, as you walk into the Museum one of the first things you see has a link back  to Irish heritage. The stunning Atrium is dominated by a sweeping elliptical staircase, which has been mirrored on the ground floor by a spiral motif that’s not just a pretty pattern.

This New Stone Age motif was discovered on large stones known as the Calderstones near what is now a park of the same name in South Liverpool, where the remains still stand. Virtually all other prehistoric burials with the same type of carvings are found in Ireland and this suggests close contacts with people around the River Mersey and the Irish Sea more than 4,000 years ago!

So our connections with the Emerald Isle go way back, and if my family’s anything to go by, we’ve all got an Irish connection somewhere along the line so there’s no excuse not to celebrate tomorrow.

The folks at the Liverpool Irish Festival have not only arranged a parade in the city to mark the occasion, but also organised some fantastic events at the Museum of Liverpool tomorrow. The Waterfront Café is cooking up some proper Irish grub and there will be talks, storytelling, music and dancing throughout the day, so come down to enjoy the craic!

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