You’ve seen the Kiss Me I’m Irish pins.  It looks like a campaign button.  And maybe it should be a campaign.

Because after reading this book – How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill – you should kiss someone who is Irish and tank them.  (Yes, I purposely wrote “tank” instead of “thank” to be more Irish.  Aye, I am wee bit prejudice here.)

This is a fun read for St. Patrick’s Day while you snuggle up to a shot of Irish Whisky and some Shepherd’s Pie.

Thank An Irish Monk

Sure, it is a gallop through the Dark Ages of European History.  But Cahill makes it interesting and fun.

Can some scholars refute his claims?  Sure.

For instance, he claims that Irish monks founded the works of the early Roman Catholic Church, along with the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and transcribed them as Rome fell.  These works were not spread again until the Middle Ages centuries later.

Irish monks, starting with St. Patrick, were the ones who actually spread the word of the Gospel of Jesus to England.  Yes, the Irish made England Christian and Catholic.

Couldn’t someone have told Cromwell that?  I bet Mary Queen of Scots would have loved that info.

An Irish Try-Out Marriage Trial

Early Irish Catholicism allowed for people to have 1-year trial marriages.  It was like a matrimonial test-drive.  In other words, you could get out of the marriage after one year.  It stopped when Roman scholars in later years denounced it.  In fact, a lot of what the Irish believed was abandoned when the Roman scholars came back and purified the religion.  Still, some scholars refute this marriage-testing claim of Cahill’s.

I see some great advantages to this law today, but I know plenty of guys who would abuse it.

The same is true for priests marrying.  There is enough evidence that priests were ordered to celibacy centuries after Jesus walked the earth.  In Ireland, monks had wives at some point.  My late friend, Acharya S, has written a great book I highly recommend as well, “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” which brilliantly explains the economic reasons of why celibacy was enacted and its effect on the Church today.

I wonder if my two fabulous uncles — Rev. Joseph Daly and Rev. Charles Daly — thought about this.  Probably not.

Irish Lasses Ruled Back Then Too

And it seems that early Irish traditions were more conciliatory to women.  Irish society was still patriarchal, but Irish women were queens and even St. Brigid ran her own monastery.  And Cahill points out that Irish literature had women as witty, sharp-tongue, and not backing down from their male counterparts.

Now just imagine if the Irish had prevailed over Rome.

I am all puckered up and ready.

But before you give me my St. Paddy’s Day schmooch, and finish reading Mr. Cahill, take a look at two of our Undercover Jetsetter segments.

Laddie, did you think we wouldn’t have a couple of bites and sips for ya?

The first is our Shepherd’s Pie Recipe.  This is comfort food that you can easily fix and enjoy on a winter day or really any day.  We have some typical Irish commentary as we give your the recipe.


And we bring you a cocktail drink that has some of the not so happy Irish history of the 20th Century.  The Kilmainham is a drink we whipped up in honor of Kilmainham Prison which was the site of many arrested Irish fighters in the Easter Rising, the Irish Rebellion in 1916.  I was there and saw the death list with the name Michael Daly.  Still trying to find out if it is any relation.  Either way, I will toast him and the others.  Enjoy the cocktail.

John Daly, along with Susan Anzalone, created, produce, and host Undercover Jetsetter, a show shot off the iPhone covering travel, food, wine, mixology, and golf with a reach of more than 120 million viewers and also seen here on Wingding TV.  John is American born, but his ancestors on the Daly side were from County Cork.