For a young fellow who started out minding a few sheep on Slemish Mountain in Antrim, Saint Patrick has built a fairly impressive global profile.

Indeed, he’s one of the few church figures – outside of St Nicholas and Jesus himself, of course – who manages to bring a fair proportion of the world to a halt for a day each year.

More to the point, he’s the only former sheep farmer who comes close to achieving that feat.

In fact, you’d wonder if the sheep sector is making enough of St Patrick’s early days in the business.

Granted, he got a bit peeved with the unending hardship and slipped off home to Wales. But who hasn’t got tired of sheep farming? And as the saying goes, you’d need the patience of a saint to stick at it anyway.

So, is it time for the sheep sector to reclaim St Patrick as one of their own?

God knows they’d do with some divine intervention to survive in sheep these days.

And surely the country’s sheep farmers are more entitled to lay claim to the legacy of Patrick than the politicians who’ll melt a few Greenland glaciers with all their foreign travel and air miles on the saint’s behalf this week.

St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland’s sheep farmers; it has a nice ring to it.