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Ireland Native Offers Some History On St. Patrick's Day

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) - Have you ever wondered how a respected, religious holiday, could turn in to a day of drinking? An Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W. joined KDKA Radio's Mike Pintek to talk about facts, myths and whiskey associated with Ireland.

Tim Herlihy is from the farming town Termonfeckin, located in the Louth County. Now he's living in New York City but traveling all over the world for the second largest Irish whiskey company in the world. He considers himself an expert in all things St. Patrick.

Irish Stereotype

"From 1927 to 1961 you could not drink in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day," said Herlihy. "It was a public holiday, it was then a holy day, all the work places, all the schools were closed like they are today."

Until 1961, he says the only place you could drink on St. Patrick's day was at the Royal Dublin Dog Show.

Herlihy adds some interesting facts about St. Patrick's Day. For example, green wasn't the original; instead, it was blue. Also, March 17 is actually the day that St. Patrick died. In typical Irish-wake style, Herlihy says, "we don't mourn, we celebrate."

Whiskey Differences

Throughout the conversation Herlihy explains that Ireland wasn't the first place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a parade, America was. He gives credit to the Americans for turning their holiday into the party it has become.

When it comes to the differences between Irish whiskey, scotch and bourbon, they're all under the umbrella of whiskey. The difference in flavors is 70 percent from the wood barrel it's aged in.

"Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking. If you cheat may you cheat death, if you steal may you steal a heart, if you fight may you fight for one another and if you drink, drink more Tullamore D.E.W. with me this St. Patrick's Day!" said Herlihy, leaving Mike Pintek and his listeners with some well wishes for this St. Patrick's Day.

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