According to a new survey from MyHome.ie, American actor Patrick Swayze is the most famous ‘Patrick’ of them all, apart from our patron saint that is!
In a Patrick’s Day themed poll, the Dirty Dancing star secured a massive 32% of the vote, well ahead of poet Patrick Kavanagh on 12% and Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart on 11%.
Patrick Pearse secured 7% of the vote while Patrick Kielty came in on just under 5%. Others to feature included former President Patrick Hillery, golfer Padraig Harrington, the English astronomer Patrick Moore, former international goalkeeper Packie Bonner and actors Patrick Duffy and Patrick Bergin.
Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants, Patrick Sarsfield, Paddy the Plasterer and Pat the Baker also featured in a somewhat eclectic mix.
When asked what their favourite thing about St Patrick’s Day was, 28% said ‘time off’ as opposed to 24% who cited patriotism and 15% who opted for parades. Somewhat surprisingly given our reputation for ‘drowning the shamrock’, just under 15% picked socialising with family or friends as their highlight.
Nine per cent cited the atmosphere while 3% said they just didn’t like St Patrick’s Day. A lowly 1.4% chose Mass/religion.
The majority of respondents, 54%, said they wouldn’t name their children Patrick or Patricia while 18% said they would and just over a quarter said ‘maybe’.
While 35% said they didn’t find being called a ‘Paddy’ offensive and a further 27% said it didn’t bother them, just under a quarter conceded that it depended on who was saying it. One in seven or 14% felt it was offensive.
While Patrick’s Day celebrations abroad often compare very favourably to home grown efforts, for most respondents, home is where the heart is, with two thirds saying they would prefer to be in Ireland for the national day.
But when offered a dream destination for the special day, New York came out well ahead of all comers. While one third of those polled were in favour of celebrating the day on a weekend every year similar to Easter or Thanksgiving in the States, over half opposed that idea while 11% were undecided.