I join Charles Pierce and others in wishing a "Happy Saint's Day from this shebeen to all who came, and to all who stayed behind. To all of them, and all of us, the children of the Irish diaspora, descended from famine, refugees from violence and the inherent cruelty of all empires."
I'm no more prejudiced against the Irish than I am against humanity in general. (In fact, as I understand it, I possess a touch of Irish myself, along with some Dutch, German, Native American and cruel English). I do recall my father once making a less than admiring comment about the old-country Irish, however. Although usually and eminently tolerant, his reasoning in this instance was overgeneralized, as all prejudices are; given the circumstances, though, I could at least understand it.
My father, a WWII Navy veteran, spent some time after the war in Ireland, where, he related, American servicemen were treated with utter disdain. Why? We had fought along with the English in defeating the Germans, with whom many in Ireland sympathized, since Germans were killing the English, who had been killing the Irish for centuries. It was the old "enemy of my enemy" thing.
At any rate, the wartime and postwar Irish were less than fond of English-aligned Americans, and, according to my father, they didn't hesitate to manifest this lack of fondness. And so was born at least a temporary paternal prejudice. To which I said, I'll drink to that! (for in those days, I would have drunk to anything).