St Patrick

The oldest tradition we have in Skerries concerns St. Patrick as it is only natural it should, but it reflects no credit on the Skerries people of that day for it states that when St. Patrick landed here the Skerries folk stole his goat, killed it and ate it.

This story has been handed down through the ages and the neighbouring towns took care that we were not allowed to foget it. In my school days if ever we cycled around the country the children playing in the streets were sure to shout “Skerry Goat” or “Eat the Goat” after us. In Rush we could retort “Rush Ray” and in Balbriggan with “Bell Hiller” but in Lusk we had to maintain a dignified silence.

When the late Albert Power sculpted the statue of St. Patrick outside our new church he cut a tiny head of a goat in the interlacing at the foot. It was afterwards cut out, which I thought a great pity, but I believe some people raised objections to it.

Near the springboard bathing place there is a rock with the mark of a sandalled foot. St. Patrick is supposed to have stepped from Church Island to this rock and left the imprint of his foot there. Before the springboard was erected this little cove was the bathing place of the Skerries boys and was known as “The Foot”.

Mrs. Branagan (SHS, 1950)