Was St Patrick a lad from Ravenglass who found Paradise on his way to Ireland?

Srapline: Patron saint has been the focus for decades of celebrations and events held in South Cumbria to raise cash for a wide range of causes

AS it is St Patrick's Day on Tuesday we are taking a look back at some of the fun events held in South Cumbria through the years to raise funds for good causes and to celebrate Ireland's primary patron saint - who has strong historic links with Furness.

In 2000 a St Patrick's Day event at the Millom Knights of St Columba Club raised £160 for the town mayor's appeal.

Millom mayor, Cllr Christine Lovell, was there to see her granddaughter Laura, aged nine, from Oldham, provide a demonstration of Irish dancing.

There was also a ceilidh at Barrow's Forum where dancers joined mayor Jean Waiting to raise money for new heart equipment at Furness General Hospital.

St Patrick's links with Lancashire and Furness formed part of a talk on Hidden Treasures by Richard Martin for the Friends of Heysham Library.

He said: "St Patrick is linked with a lot of places in the United Kingdom."

There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the life of Patrick but the saint was possibly born in 396 at a Roman fortress - possibly on the Cylde in Scotland or at Glannoventa, now Ravenglass in West Cumbria.

As a teenager he was captured and became the slave  of a Irish chief.

After six years he escaped but was shiprecked in Morecambe Bay - possibly wading ashore at Paradise, Ireleth, or at Heysham, where there is a ruined chapel dedicated to him.

His mission to convert Ireland to Christianity began around 439 and there are claims that he preached at Paterdale, in the Lake District, before his death near Downpatrick, Ireland around 461.

In 2002 staff and regulars at the Irish Bar in Barrow's Hotel Imperial raised a St Patrick's Day glass of  Guinness to mark involvement in a sponsored event to support Marie Curie nurses called the Dublin Dash.

Hotel manager Derek Brough said: "It was a really brilliant night.

"Things really started in the early hours of Sunday when we had dancers and fire eaters."

They were recruiting teams of four to take part in the fancy dress event to be held in September.

An article in The Mail noted: "Leaving mid-morning after an Irish breakfast, teams race to Dublin, using whatever transport they can secure."

Staff at the Barrow Asda store celebrated St Patrick's Day in 2002 by dressing up and holding tombolas and face painting sessions for youngsters to raise £500 for a cancer appeal.