I was named for this country. As a child, I felt a certain smug pride every March as cardboard cutouts bearing the slogan “Erin Go Bragh!” papered classrooms for St. Patrick’s Day. This was my holiday, and I spent several greedy days pretending to be the foremost authority on the entire nation. My Ireland. I’m not actually sure if any significant portion of Irish blood actually runs through my veins – I am a Grade A mutt, so there’s bound to be some – but the feeling of ownership and connection is a still a tender spot. It’s a beautiful place. There are a lot of sheep. And fresh, fresh Guinness tasted in the world’s tiniest Irish village (seriously , this place was a postcard for quaint) is a fond treat that conjures only the warmest nostalgia – my first hangover. Good times.
But while Louisville may be a hot minute or two away from God’s green isle, the bounty of Ireland will be presented in full this weekend as Bellarmine University presents its yearly Irish Fest  on campus. The traditional forms of merriment – beer and food – will undoubtedly overflowth for attendees (and not without reason; hook me up with some shepherd’s pie, yo), but bookworms can get a fix as well. Join author Gary Yeagle this Saturday, September 29th, as he presents his book Iron Fist, Velvet Glove.
A thriller set in tangle of the Catholic/Protestant clash, Iron Fist, Velvet Glove follows two youths from Northern Ireland who form a friendship amidst the odds of their respective religious clans. Yeagle, the co-author of the novel Echoes of Death: The Smoky Mountain Murders, will be festival ready this weekend to share his book and comment on the centuries of conflict that have come to define much of modern Ireland – for better or worse.
I know those uilleann pipes are calling your name, brother. Save your belly for beer and break out your best jig (nope, it’s not just for parties!); there’s a-plenty of Irish to go around this weekend – words and all. Although the country itself is still, decidedly, all mine.
Bellarmine University is located at 2001 Newburg Road.
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