By Dan Walsh
Thankfully, the pandemic has gone and the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are welcome back restoring pride in our nationhood, celebrating in our own inimitable style, music and entertainment at the parades and a social gathering that is all-inclusive and a joy to experience. There is a parade near you and WexfordLocal.com has compiled a list (not every event may be listed, there may be a few around that county that we missed out on!) so choose your location, or scrutenise the timetables and you may be able to include several. Lá Féile Padraig.
WEXFORD; The Wexford St. Patrick’s Day parade dates from 1904, making it the oldest parade in the country. This year’s event will be led by St. Patrick’s Fife & Drum Band, with an 11am start, and concluding on Wexford’s famous quayside. Always popular with family groups, Wexford town’s annual presentation is renowned for its colour and musical traditional style supplemented with modern dancing and choreography from local youth groups.
GOREY; Gorey St. Patrick’s Day parade takes the familiar route from the ’98 monument through the long Main Street to the review stand at Esmonde Street. A 3 o’clock start and Gorey Pipe Band will lead. The Grand Marshal is ace photographer and ‘Cycle for Suicide’ activist Joe Dixon who claims to be the “longest Grand Marshal in history” having been selected in 2020 but denied this opportunity until now due to the pandemic lockdown.
THE HARROW-BOOLAVOGUE; Groups will march from The Harrow to Boolavogue and return to The Harrow starting out at 1pm. The honour of Grand Marshal falls to Dorothy Hall who has been described by her friends as “Queen of Boolavogue”.
COOLGREANY; After an absence of two years Coolgreany is all set to restore the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities and the parade moves off at 12.30pm. The Grand Marshal for 2022 is Declan Merrigan, a staunch supporter of committees, organisations and sporting activity in the Coolgreany area. One of a small number of rural parades across the county and always entertaining and a great day out for all the family it is cleverly marketed as “the friendliest” parade anywhere.
ENNISCORTHY; Enniscorthy’s Grand Marshal is ex-public representative Sean Doyle, who is chair of Enniscorthy Castle and the National 1798 Rebellion Committee and a life-long activist for many causes in support of a better life for the people of Enniscorthy. Starting in the Shannon at 3pm, the parade route crosses the River Slaney and concludes in Market Square. Enniscorthy is not only celebrating Ireland, we are also raising much needed funds for UNICEF Ukrainian Appeal, Admission to both Enniscorthy Castle and the National 1798 Rebellion Centre will be €5 per person or €10 per family with all proceeds being donated. There will also be live music by the brilliant Jason O’Connor in Enniscorthy Castle from 1pm-3pm on St. Patrick’s Day. All are welcome.
NEW ROSS; The St. Patrick’s Day parade by the River Barrow gets underway at 2pm in the Irishtown and follows the traditional route to the Quay. Michael Fottrell, a musician, teacher, conductor of brass bands, producer in the ‘tops of the parish’, are just a few of his community achievements over the past half century has been chosen as Grand Marshal 2022 and this honour is truly deserved. Look out for the ‘best dressed window’ competition and the Barrow Princess introducing a river cruise service between New Ross and Waterford will be quayside ahead of Friday morning’s maiden voyage!
CURRAGRAIGUE, BALLINDAGGIN; Already in the history books as the smallest, shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world, the Curragraigue event sets out at 1pm and ends five minutes later (maybe four)! A piper, a vintage vehicle and some sheep, goats, dogs and ducks will be admired from the reviewing stand placed on a secure tar barrel. A humorous tribute in rural surroundings.
BANNOW-BALLYMITTY; Organised by Bannow Ballymitty Local Community Development Group this event honouring the memory of St. Patrick sets off from the School Field at 2pm. Local groups are invited to participate.
CLONROCHE; Always a gala occasion the Clonroche St Patrick’s Day parade assembles at Cloughbawn Church at marches to the village at 1pm. The organisers say “some surprise inclusions” may occur, but, plenty of music and teas and refreshments in Clonroche Community Hall afterwards. All participants are welcome.
BUNCLODY; Proceedings commence with the traditional blessing of the shamrock at 10.45am and shortly afterwards the parade will take place from Market Square and up one side and down the other along The Mall and the organisers claim it’s “the viewing is the best in the country.”
CARNEW; Carnew St. Patrick’s Day parade starts a little earlier than traditionally -at 12.30pm – and travels from the Gorey Road, through the Main Street, and the reviewing stand is opposite St. Brigid’s Hall where the 15th South Wicklow Drama Festival opens next Sunday. The 2022 Grand Marshal is Emer Kennedy, star player with Wexford Youths Women’s FC.