THE ORDER OF ST. PATRICK
The Order of St Patrick was founded in 1783, to reward those in high office in Ireland and Irish peers on whose support the government of the day depended. It therefore served as the national Order of Ireland as the Garter was for England and the Thistle for Scotland. The Order lapsed in 1974 with the death of the last surviving recipient, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester.
Originally, the number of Knights of St Patrick was 15, and this increased to 22 in 1833. The Knights wore mantles of sky-blue satin, and the star of the Order was embroidered in silver on the right breast.
The Order's most famous insignia were the badge and star used by the Lords Lieutenant; these were made available for the serving Lord Lieutenant's use in 1830 by William IV. The insignia were made from 394 stones taken in part from some of Queen Charlotte's jewellery and from one of the Order of the Bath Badges which had belonged to her husband George III. Known as the 'Irish Crown Jewels', the insignia were stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907 and never recovered.
The Order effectively went into abeyance with the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.
From: The Order of St. Patrick. "The Monarchy Today: The Queen as Fountain of Honor."