‘Green beer does not exist in Ireland’ | VailDaily.com

‘Green beer does not exist in Ireland’

Preston Utley/Vail DailyCatriona Young from Moate, Ireland, works as a lift operator at Beaver Creek.

BEAVER CREEK ” St. Patrick’s Day will be a little different for Catriona Young this year.

Young, 22, who is from Moate, Ireland, will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Finnegan’s Wake, an Irish bar in Avon. She’s spending the season as a lift operator at Beaver Creek.

Eagle County has its share of green beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but an authentic Irish presence can be found among the many seasonal workers who come to Vail every year.

Eoin (pronounced “Owen”) Trainor, who is also spending the season as a lift operator at Beaver Creek, is from Derry, a predominantly Catholic city in Northern Ireland. He said Americans seem to get into the holiday more than Irish people.

But the holiday, which celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, can lose its true meaning abroad, he said.

“It’s become nearly like a cliche outside of Ireland,” he said.

Trainor, 23, will also be at Finnegan’s tonight ” but not drinking his beloved Guinness.

“Guinness here isn’t of the quality you get back home,” he said.

Nevertheless, he plans to have a good time. “I will have a major lash at it,” he said.

Trainor is spending his second season at Beaver Creek, five years after his first season. The years were interrupted by his studies for a law degree at Trinity College in Dublin.

But he said he’s a traveler, not a lawyer. After this season, he’s headed to South Korea to teach English.

Jenna Montgomery, 24, from Ballymena in Northern Ireland, is a driver with the Colorado Mountain Express airport shuttle service. She said St. Patrick’s Day in America seems to be an excuse to get drunk.

“St. Patty’s is much bigger around the world than it is in Ireland,” she said.

Song and dance

The day is truly a religious holiday for Young. The day honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who spread Christianity on the island.

The meaning of the day is not-so-well-known in the U.S., she said.

“A lot of people don’t know who St. Patrick is,” she said.

Young said her family always goes to Mass, and then watches parades with Irish dancing, like the “Riverdance” performers. There is also a rock near her home that St. Patrick supposedly knelt on, leaving a pool that collects water. A priest blesses the water every year on St. Patrick’s Day, and the water supposedly cures warts.

Then they head for the pub.

“We spend the rest of the day drinking,” she said.

They also watch Gaelic football and hurling, a Celtic field game played with sticks and a ball, and take turns singing and dancing, she said.

As for green beer, the three Irishmen gave conflicting reports on its presence in their homeland. Young said her local pub adds food coloring to its Guinness to make a green-hued head.

Apparently this does not occur in Montgomery’s or Trainor’s neck of the woods.

“Green beer does not exist in Ireland,” Trainor said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or estoner@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

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