More than half a million kiwis have Irish ancestry and probably another half a million wish they did.
So whether your great great grandmother was Irish or not, today Saturday March 17 is St Patrick's Day, now an internationally celebrated day of all things Irish. Parades, wearing and celebrating green...
So who is Patrick? According to Wikipedia:
Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary in Ireland. It is believed that he was born into a wealthy Roman Britain family in the fourth century.
Apparently at age 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. He spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he "found God".
The Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelising in the northern half of Ireland and converted "thousands".
Patrick's efforts against the druids were eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove "snakes" out of Ireland (Ireland never had any snakes).
Tradition holds that he died on March 17 and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland's foremost saint.
He used the three leaf clover to explain the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
So there you have it.
PS Why does the four leaf clover look like four hearts?