Hong Kong's Irish contingent, renowned for throwing the best parties, was in full swing yesterday to celebrate St Patrick's Day. For some time Fiona Loughrey has been busy organising not one, but two, celebrations in her role as president of the St Patrick's Society. Apart from representing 400 members, Ms Loughrey is a partner at law firm Baker and McKenzie, specialising in commercial and employment law. She is in her 30s, single, lives in Mid-Levels and has been in Hong Kong for 10 years. What's on your mind? The organisation of Saturday's ball and last night's function, and other functions in between. It has been extremely stressful. The ball on Saturday had 550 people. It was very successful. I enjoyed myself too. It was one of those evenings that flowed. People were coming up to me, excusing themselves for being party-poopers, saying they couldn't go on any more. That was at 4.45 am. It was absolutely riotous. There were several hundred people at last night's function at the Furama. It was a slightly less formal evening - more of a session. All this means, over the last week or 10 days, I have not been available to colleagues and friends in the way I would like to be. Who was St Patrick? He was from a Roman family who grew up in comfortable circumstances. His grandfather was a Catholic bishop and his father was a civil servant. Unfortunately for him, he was captured in 401 AD by Irish pirates. He lived in isolation, but escaped after six years. He did very worthwhile things for the Irish - he was anti-slavery. What does St Patrick's Day mean to most Irish people? It's a patriotic day. It's a formal occasion, it's a lively night with lots of alcohol being drunk. The ball is extremely popular, we have always welcomed people from lots of different countries, Australia, America, England, Scotland. I think most people appreciate what the day is. Just about everyone who goes to the ball wants to come back. Estimates put the number of Irish in Hong Kong between 3,000 and 4,000. Our membership has grown by a third in the last year. What is it like to be Irish in Hong Kong? Irish people tend to be very sociable and chatty. I think the Irish like to work hard and play hard - Hong Kong lends itself to that.