When the Irish celebrate in Slovakia

THE CHANCES of spotting a man in green clothes, a big green hat and a red beard drinking Guinness in a Bratislava pub are higher than one might think. Though Slovaks do not celebrate the national holiday of Ireland, named after the patron saint of the Emerald Isle, St Patrick, many Irish people living in Slovakia come to Bratislava every year on March 17 to meet their compatriots and take part in celebrations.

Irish stew was served at the sports day.Irish stew was served at the sports day. (Source: Courtesy of SII)

THE CHANCES of spotting a man in green clothes, a big green hat and a red beard drinking Guinness in a Bratislava pub are higher than one might think. Though Slovaks do not celebrate the national holiday of Ireland, named after the patron saint of the Emerald Isle, St Patrick, many Irish people living in Slovakia come to Bratislava every year on March 17 to meet their compatriots and take part in celebrations.

While more than 20,000 Slovaks have decided to settle in Ireland, the latest figures provided by the Irish Chamber of Commerce state that only 204 Irish people currently reside in Slovakia. Though they do not have any cultural centre, the chamber does organise some events for Irish people in Slovakia to help to turn this corner of central Europe into something that more closely resembles their homeland.

“The chamber recently organised a Family Sports Day in Čunovo [about 19 kilometres far from Bratislava] where Irish games, including Gaelic football and hurling, were played,” Tom Redmond from the Irish Embassy in Slovakia told The Slovak Spectator, adding that the sports day was also attended by teams from the Czech Republic and Austria.

The event, held in mid July, was also an opportunity to taste Irish food and drink, and listen to Irish music.


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