Getting a taste of the genuine St. Patrick’s Day experience from Ireland

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - You might have a little luck of the Irish Wednesday. It’s St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a time when many Americans celebrate their Irish heritage. According to U.S. Census data, about 33 million Americans self-identify as being of Irish ancestry. That’s five times the number of people on the actual island of Ireland!

March 17 marks the assumed date of St. Patrick’s death 1,500 years ago. The legend that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland is probably myth, but he is credited with bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle.

While many traditional parades are canceled because of the pandemic, you can still wear your green with pride at home and perhaps enjoy a Guinness with your corned beef and cabbage -- an Americanized Irish dish.

On Wednesday on NewsChannel 7 at 4, we took you all the way across the Atlantic to Ireland to a couple diverse locations to not only celebrate, but learn some new things about the holiday and Irish culture. We first checked in with Francis Brennan, the manager of one of Ireland’s best hotels -- The Park Hotel Kenmare. He talked about a very popular tradition of making badges in school.

“The bigger the badge and more inventive and nicer it was, the more attractive it would be,” Brennan said.

He also talked about the Aren Islands, which is where Aren sweaters are from. Brennen explained the sweaters’ complexity and why they were made for fishermen centuries ago.

Next, our stop took us to County Wexford, Ireland to catch up with Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon who talked about the most popular Irish dishes to make and how people at home can bring a little taste of Ireland into their kitchens. You can find more about him and his recipes at

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