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TRUTH OR BLARNEY? BRITON SAYS ST. PATRICK REALLY WAS LONDONER

On the eve of St. Patrick's Day, a British researcher has suggested that Ireland's patron saint was a Londoner from Battersea.

Like any other theory about Patrick, it is difficult to prove or refute because the 5th century apostle left only a hint about his origins."His life has been argued about in hundreds of books," said Nicholas Fuentes, a retired Bank of England official and independent archaeologist.

"But Patrick is always said to have lived in the 5th century, somewhere along the western fringes of Britain, and to have been carried off by Irish marauders when he was 16 and employed as a herdsman," Fuentes said.

"I'm saying it's a possibility that before he was captured he grew up on the eastern side of Britain, in Battersea," he said.

But, added Fuentes, "It's almost impossible to prove anything about the saint. What we need is a rich Irishman to fund some digging in the area for clues."

Fuentes, 56, aired his theory in a dense, 7,500-word article backed by 136 footnotes.