One of the four patron saints of this country, St Patrick is, as far as anyone can establish, an interesting character. It did not surprise Tory Historian to find out that much of the mythology associated with St Paddy was either invented later or has more to do with other characters of the period.
It is, interestingly, enough his death that is celebrated on March 17, other dates being somewhat uncertain. The year, as that great history book 1066 And All That would put it, being completely unmemorable. As the detailed and cautious article on Wikipedia says:
Saint Patrick's Day (17 March) is celebrated both in and outside of Ireland, as both a liturgical and non-liturgical holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland it is a both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation and outside of Ireland, it can be a celebration of Ireland itself.One more thing to remember about St Patrick: so far as anyone can tell, he was born in Roman Britain and was something of a foreigner or, at least, an outsider in Ireland.