It falls upon my friend Brendan (and his father) to remind me of important dates in Irish history, as my touch with the old country is not quite what it should be. Today is the 12th of July, the day that Irish Protestants celebrate as their 'Independence Day.' That day, at the Battle of the Boyne, the Protestant King William of Orange defeated the Catholic James II. So began the "Glorious Revolution," wherein the foundation of parliamentary rule and the modern monarchy were laid. (Huh huh...he said 'laid') Or so the Ulster Protestants say. :)
So...if you're Irish Catholic, go take a drink to the Republic, and if you're Irish Protestant, go take a drink to religious freedom. If you're Irish, period, go take a drink. And then another. And then another.