Ever wondered why Montserrat have a day off for St Patrick’s Day too?

Ever wondered why Montserrat have a day off for St Patrick’s Day too?

Dublin, Ireland

Laura McAtackney, Associate Professor in Sustainable Heritage Management (Archaeology)
Arhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Krysta Ryzewski, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

This edited article, written by Laura McAtackney and Krysta Ryzewski, is part of a chapter ‘Historic and contemporary Irish identity on Montserrat, the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ in Alison Donnell, Maria McGarrity & Evelyn O’Callaghan ‘s book: Caribbean Irish Connections for University of West Indies Press.

CONTEMPORARY MONTSERRAT IS marketed globally as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”. This tagline inspires tourists and scholars to visualise a verdant, fertile paradise bolstered by genuine and lasting historic links to Ireland.

The island’s Irish connections have long been a source of interest for local residents and tourists alike, and over the past two decades government agencies, the tourism industry and local communities have made concerted efforts to bolster its Irish legacy and build upon perceived connections between present-day Montserrat and historic Irish communities.

Its most prominent example of these efforts is St Patrick’s Day, a national holiday that simultaneously commemorates the island’s Irish heritage and a failed uprising by Afro-Caribbean slaves and members of the island’s free black community on the same day in 1768.

The St Patrick’s holiday has grown into a week-long festival that attracts international tourists and acts as a major homecoming event for Montserrat’s diaspora community.

Today, Montserrat’s connection to an ‘Irish’ identity is strong but this has not always been the case…

Read the entire article here.

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