Drunken antics ruined a day of celebrations
One of the problems with any festival that takes over a city centre is that those who perceive themselves as 'owning' the festival can behave in a triumphalist manner; because it is 'their day' they have a sense that normal rules of good behaviour don't apply to them. We see this with both St Patrick's Day and July 12.
My nine-year-old daughter wanted to go to Belfast city centre with her mother to join in the St Patrick's Day celebrations; she looked forward to the event and it was very disappointing to receive a phone call from my wife asking me to leave work and collect both of them from a city centre shop where they had taken refuge as my daughter was frightened by the drunken behaviour of a minority who were intent on confronting the police and having a fist fight near Cornmarket.
I collected my wife and daughter and was driving them home when we had to make an emergency stop when the taxi driver in front jammed on his brakes - you might be able to guess the reason. His intoxicated passenger had to vacate the taxi to be sick by the side of the road.
Despite being from a Protestant and unionist background, we have always loathed the triumphalism and poor behaviour of July 12 - it looks like St Patrick's Day is not for us either.