Irish focus on family and tradition during Christmas

DUBLIN (WTNH) — New Haven has a large number of people of Irish descent, many of whom are getting ready for Christmas.

News 8’s Brian Spyros just got back from Ireland.

He’s putting stories together for the upcoming Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

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Dublin and many surrounding areas began decorating weeks ago, and people there will tell you the holiday season starts earlier each year.

However, the core focus, just like here, is all about family and tradition.

“We have what’s known as the Irish diaspora,” explained Declan Kearney of Ireland. “There are, for example, 50 million people of Irish extraction in North America. We only have four and a half million people on the Republic of Ireland so what happens at Christmas is they all come home. You get a huge coming-together of all the people who emigrated over the various generations.”

“Everyone still goes to either mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning and you spend the day with family,” echoed Shiyra Faulkner of Ireland.

Besides the tree lighting, perhaps the biggest event is the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and News 8 is the sponsor of the parade, which is coming up in March.

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