Here it is, St Patrick’s Day 2007, and my thoughts have gone back to my visit to Slane, County Meath in Ireland in 1999.
The reason is simple: it’s believed that it was at Slane that St Patrick had a “spiritual standoff” in support of his plan to convert Ireland to Christianity. St Patrick is also said to have built his first church there.
The statue of St Patrick is located on the Hill of Slane (about ten minutes drive from the town centre), which, co-incidentally, is also the area where my O’Brien ancestors came from. Specifically, James O’Brien and Mary Smith who lived at the nearby village of Knockerk, before they came to Australia in 1864.
But if you think for a moment my trip to Ireland was a spiritual/genealogical journey only, think again…
PS. Happy Birthday to my sister, Pat.