Lá Fhéile Pádraig Contae Loch Garman

MARKET SQUARE where the Enniscorthy St. Patrick’s Day parade will take to the streets. (File Pic).

By Dan Walsh

Marching sports and cultural organisations, floats and vintage machinery, music and colour, are some of the amazing features of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and of course the children, the families, the atmosphere and the crowds!

Tonight, Met Éireann gave us the forecast; “St. Patrick’s Day morning will be mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain extending northwards to all areas. The afternoon will be brighter with sunny spells and scattered showers, some heavy, with a chance of isolated thunderstorms over the western half of the country. Some drier intervals in the east towards evening. Highest temperatures of 11 to 14 degrees with fresh southerly breezes.”

So the temperatures are going to be comfortable, wrap up well, and enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day parade in your town or village, or maybe take in more than one because times are staggered throughout the day. Here is a list of the best parade in your area…

BUNCLODY. The starting point is Glanbia, in Carrigduff, at 10.40am. A spokesperson for the committee commented: “All participants in this year’s parade should be colourful, creative and add music or dance if at all possible, to make the 2023 Bunclody St Patrick’s Day parade the best ever.”

CARRIG ON BANNOW. The organisers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Carrig-on-Bannow are putting out the call to “the young, the old, the brave and the bold” to join them for the 12th annual St Patrick’s Day parade which will see the picturesque seaside village completely decked out in green. The fun will get under way from 2pm sharp, with the parade starting from the school field, and the road will be closed in the village from 1 pm to 4 pm for the festivities.

CARNEW. Senior teams from Carnew Emmets will lead the 50th Carnew St. Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 12.30pm on the Gorey Road and moves along Main Street to St. Brigid’s Hall. Prizes are available for a few float categories.   

CLONROCHE. Assembling at Cloughbawn Church and getting under way at 1pm the plan is to pass the Viewing Platform in Clonroche village at 2pm. Over 80 business and over 25 local voluntary and sporting groups will participate.

COOLGREANY. Founder of Heart to Hand, Kieran Byrne is the Grand Marshal for the Coolgreany St. Patrick’s Day Parade which begins at 12 noon. This is Coolgreany’s 13th annual parade and will feature the award-winning Arklow Pipe Band.

CURRAGRAIGUE. This is Ireland’s ‘smallest parade’, but the one that is receiving most media attention because of its originality! 11am start this year for the Ballindaggin showpiece.

ENNISCORTHY. Entertainment in Market Square from 2pm, but the parade moves off at 3pm from St. Senan’s Church area led by a Colour Party from the Army Reserve. Proceeding along Templeshannon Quay the parade will cross the Rafter Bridge onto Mill Park Road, up Friary Hill and Court Street turning up Hospital Lane and, onto the Parnell Road, and down Main Street into Market Square. St. Colman’s Pipe Band, Ballindaggin, will be marching to appropriate tunes.

FETHARD-ON-SEA. The Fethard-on-Sea St Patrick’s Day Parade takes place from 2 pm in the village with the Helen Blake replica boat featuring as a star attraction. Numerous local groups, from cheer leaders to sporting clubs and businesses will bring a carnival of colour and energy to the village, with St Patrick himself making an appearance! Everyone participating is asked to meet at the pitch at 1.30 p.m. ahead of the parade.

GOREY. The Gorey St. Patrick’s Day Parade is simple. It begins at 3pm at the ’98 monument and they march along the Main Street to the reviewing stand on Esmonde Street and usually both sides of the street are thronged with thousands of families and supporters on the national feast day. This year’s Grand Marshal is Sean Halford, who served with the defunct Gorey Town Commissioners and numerous organisations over the years. This year’s theme for the Gorey St. Patrick’s Day Parade is ‘Irish Heritage and Culture’.

KILTEALY. Making history in Kiltealy with the first ever parade in the village. The parade starts at 1pm in the Community Centre car park,

NEW ROSS. The theme for this year’s parade is ‘New Ross Going Green’. Committee Chairman Cllr Anthony Connick said: “St Patrick’s Day is a day for family and fun. It is a chance for everyone to celebrate our town and our heritage together. It is the people of the town and environs that make it such a memorable occasion.” The parade will commence at 2 pm from the Irishtown and will conclude on the quay just after the visitor centre at the Dunbrody. The parade will take the traditional route down through the town.

THE HARROW. On the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Insurrection the organisers of The Harrow St. Patrick’s Day are hoping for a pike group to participate. No starting times provided!

WEXFORD. Starts at 10.30am and travels along William Street, Trinity Street, Paul Quay, Commercial Quay and Wellington Place to Redmond Square. The reviewing stand will on the quay front adjacent to Wexford Bridge. Among the floats taking part will be Sulzer on Whitemill Industrial Estate which is celebrating 50 years in Wexford this year and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann while a group of almost 50 students from Wexford’s twin town of Coueron will travel from to march in the parade.

St Patrick’s Day in Wexford will start with the traditional Civic Mass in Bride Street Church at 9am, attended by public representatives, officials and other guests, at which the blessing of the shamrock will take place. The main sponsors of this year’s parade are Wexford Credit Union, Wexford County Council, Wexford Borough District Council and Done Deal. The prize-giving ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 18th in Macken’s pub at 7 pm.

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