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Saint Patrick Centre (Downpatrick)

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      05.09.2001 05:29
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      The Saint Patrick Centre For once in Northern Ireland Saint Patrick seems to be getting the place he deserves, with Patrick being born in 5th Century surely it's about time!. This centre in Downpatrick CO Down does a wonderful job of informing and celebrating his life and the legacy he has left in the land of Ireland. When you have been round the centre you will start to realise that St Patrick was in the major league of Saints. Thomas Cahills book " How the Irish saved civilisation" does a brilliant job of telling his place in history, with the fall of the Roman Empire and along with it the knowledge and writings of era being lost. Only a Christian on a small Island on the edge of Europe could save that knowledge....St Patrick..& Co. This centre is situated in the middle of Downpatrick, the price in is £12 for a family. The journey starts with a video presentation of Romano-Celtic world. Then you go along the journey with active video, which takes you back to his captivity and then his time as a shepherd in Ireland. You will start to realise as you go through this journey that St Patrick was being used by God to bring Christianity to Ireland. You also hear from His famous Confession and how it is still a very important historical document. The exhibition comes to an end with people of Ireland tell what St Patrick means in there life's today, and this point is made strongly with such different views points as Rev Ian Paisley and the Catholic Bishop join to celebrate a truly great man of God. So if you are one of the many people in Northern Ireland who do not know much about St Patrick treat your self and family to a bit of real living history.

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        28.08.2001 16:06
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        I recently had two American guests over with work, and part of my job is to provide some corporate entertainment. A friend told me about the new St. Patrick's Centre and so I decided to bring them to it on a Sunday morning. I was greeted by a very friendly member of staff, which left a great impression with my guests. The first part of the tour which was to show how different Ireland was to Rome, and I think that it confused my guests as it wasn't very clear what the point was. The rest of the tour which was a multimedia presentation was very well put together and impressed them (and therefore me), although I felt the centre could have supplemented the multimedia presentation with some more factual content, for the benefit of international tourists who had not heard the story of Patrick before - there were many points in the tour where I had to supplement it with my own knowledge - e.g. the tour had someone speaking Patrick's words from his Confessio - my international guests did not know Patrick had left anything in writing. Although it was clear to me that the presentation was based on fact, I think that my guests thought that a lot of it was made up by the centre. There was also a section at the end which showed a modern viewpoint of St. Patrick, and I regret to say, that this was not well done at all. We seen clips of the Dublin parade and were told about parades in other countries like South Africa, Russia etc. and it would have been great to see them. The presentation included a section which included references to the local divide in Northern Ireland, which meant that my guests were asking questions about violence here etc. - something which companies like mine try to play down with clients in the hopes of bringing more jobs here. I think this would be a great centre for education for children learning about St.Patrick, and is a nice day out for local people. I'm not sure it&
        #39;s ideally suited for international tourists who do not have a local person with them to help explain things, but I was quite impressed and would probably bring future clients to it again.

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