Wearin' of the green
By BELINDA SCOTT
EVEN if he doesn't get to paint the whole town green today, Irishman Kieran Blaney is going to make sure the city gets a lick of the Emerald Isle's trademark hue.
The Bucca resident and painting contractor is a long way from the fields of Navan in County Mead where he grew up.
These days he only goes back to cold old Ireland for a holiday, but today he will knock off work early to celebrate St Patrick's Day, a special day for Irish people all over the world.
In fact it's so pervasive a holiday that Mr Blaney said even 'bad Irish', a term which he said could be translated as Protestants from Northern Ireland, celebrated the saint's day.
Mr Blaney himself will celebrate with a jug of Kilkenny beer and a plate of Irish stew at the Coffs Hotel, which promotes itself as Coffs Harbour's 'Irish' pub.
The beer won't be green, but Mr Blaney said that's okay, they don't have green beer in Ireland on St Patrick's Day, either.
"Well, of course they don't need to, because there's so much green there already," he said.
There aren't any leprechauns in Ireland either, said the unsentimental Celt, but it's a handy fantasy that everyone subscribes to, because it's good for making money.
In fact he's all out of suitable symbols.
It's been too dry to bring up the clover, so there aren't even any distant relations to the shamrock to be found in his paddocks.
Not that Kieran Blaney is worried.
Blowing a kiss in the direction of the far-off Blarney Stone, he said the Coffs Coast was 'the best address in the world'.
To be sure, to be sure.