"If most people know anything about Saint Patrick, it’s that his one
claim to fame is that he drove the snakes from Ireland. What most people
don’t realize is that the snake is a Pagan symbol, and that the snakes
referred to in the Saint Patrick mythos are not meant in the literal
sense, but refer to Pagans; i.e., Saint Patrick drove the Pagans
(specifically, the Celts) out of Ireland (although it could be said, and
has been argued, that much has been done in Saint Patrick’s name, but
that the man himself was relatively unimportant). So what is celebrated
on Saint Patrick’s Day with drinking and much cavorting is, ironically,
the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland and the subjugation and
conversion of the Celts."
I am not only a Pagan, and a woman (who were the ones most often persecuted as witches) but also have a Celtic background, so this strongly resonates with me. Today I shall not be wearing green or a shamrock, but thinking of all the people who were pointlessly subjugated in the name of religion.
The short version: