The story is not so ironic as just surprising because it has been so long forgotten. St Patrick’s particular story of redemption, the reason he is considered a saint, is so mashed up with corned beef and green beer that when we finally do hear it does seem a little surprising. In fact just like the story of St. Valentine it can actually sound surprisingly subversive. The big reveal that makes the story so interesting is simply this: St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. In fact, he had good reason to hate them.