PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Every March 17th people all over celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There are not many cities that have a celebration as large as Pittsburgh’s.
KDKA Radio’s Larry Richert got the celebration started with a visit from an Irish Catholic priest at Duquesne University, the owner of the oldest pub in Ireland, and the most famous Irish-American in Pittsburgh, Ambassador Dan Rooney.
Fr. Naos McCool is the assistant Dean for student formation at Duquesne University. He has spent the past 14 years in Pittsburgh. Fr. McCool points out that the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is so large in the United States because of all the citizens that claim Irish decent.
“The biggest ethnic group in this country is after the Germans is the Irish and they bring their own culture and traditions with them,” he said.
How do Ireland’s citizens celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
“It is a public holiday. It is also a church holiday,” he said.
He says it is also a holiday that families spend together. He says it is also the the kickoff of tourist season.
Tourism is important to Ireland’s economy.
“We get approximately eight million-plus visitors to Ireland [a year], that’s almost twice the population [of Ireland] every year,” he said.
A large proportion of that is visitors from the United States.