Top of the morning to all our friends from Ireland. This week, we will be pleased to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with you, here at Loch Ness.
Paddy’s Day is 17th March, the supposed date of his passing around 490 AD. But you might well be wondering what St Patrick’s Day has to do with Loch Ness and this part of Scotland.
Well, one connection is St Columba, who is a secondary patron saint of Ireland. He followed St Patrick in 521 AD and spread Christianity to the pagan Scots who were known as the Picts.
It is reported that one of St Columba’s followers was once attacked by the “Water Beast of Loch Ness” and, when Columba made the sign of the cross, the beast disappeared into the dark deep waters of the loch.
Tall tales and shamrocks
Another story involves the belief that St Patrick banished all the snakes from Ireland. It is stated that he drove them all into the sea and that one of them found its way into Loch Ness through the River Ness and grew to become the monster of today.
And, yet another myth linked to Ireland is that the gardens of Drumnadrochit are one of the few places on mainland Scotland that the shamrock grows profusely.
It’s said the reason for this is related to boats being sent to this area to collect potatoes during the famine in Ireland. Apparently, soil from Ireland was used as ballast and it was later spread into the gardens of the village, along with stones, weeds and, you guessed it, shamrock!
Whether you believe the tales or put them down to blarney, there is still every reason to celebrate St Patrick’s Day here at Loch Ness, and perhaps also tie it in with a boat trip to try and spot that elusive water beastie.