IRISH AND PROUD OF IT ....
Described locally as ‘the most successful parade’, the town of Fermoy was en fete with a huge crowd and more participants than ever for the St Patrick’s Day festivities on Thursday last.
Parade committee secretary, Donal O Lochlainn was in ebullient mood when he spoke to The Avondhu this week.
“What a wonderful town we have. To watch the streams and streams of volunteers, sportsmen and women, clubs, societies and children march through town made me proud to be from Fermoy. And, they kept streaming by for nearly an hour and a half.”
A PURE DELIGHT
“The parade was a pure delight to watch but two groups stole the show for me, Fermoy Pre-school with the Frog and the Princess and Cope with the Royal Wedding. Royalty seems to be at the heart of things this year.”
Castlelyons Pipe Band made a very welcome return after several years and were backed up by Castlelyons Camogie Club who brought up the loudest cheer on the day as they passed the reviewing stand.
“In the past few years, with the parade growing so fast, something had to give. The pre-registration of entrants on the website and the zoning of the parade start enabled us to organise the parade start much better this year," Donal O Lochlainn continued.
ENTRIES WELL UP
“Everyone assembled in the correct zone, and everyone knew who was in front and who was behind, it worked like a dream. Last Thursday, we catered for 45 entries, up from 29 in 2010.”
This year also saw the parade finish in Pearse Square, which also proved very popular. There was a purpose built stage where a fantastic group of Irish dancers and musicians from Ballyduff teamed up with Fermoy Comhaltas to delight the assembled crowds with their wonderful talents. Kieran O’Connor also has to be thanked for warming up the crowd beforehand.
WONDERFUL GRAND MARSHAL
“Michael John Shinnick made a wonderful grand marshal and took the salute from about 200 scouts in the Pearse Square, probably the biggest in over 100 years when King George V took the salute in May 1910,” Donal added.
“In his speech Michael John touched on how times were hard for many, but how lucky we were when one considers what has happened in Japan. Their path forward is immense in comparison to ours.”
The following emerged as the winners this year’s Fermoy parade: Best overall - Evolution Arts; best club – Fermoy Rowing Club; educational award – Gaelscoil de hIde; youth award – Fermoy Preschool Playgroup; best original - Mini Group; special award – COPE; best shop window - Buds ‘n’ Blooming; best business – Fermoy Credit Union.
Donal O Lochlainn extended special thanks to all who helped made the parade such a success including Fermoy Rotary, the Lions club, Fermoy Rugby Club for stewarding and Fermoy gardai for traffic management, advice and help.
A reminder to all those who have photographs from the parade – these can BE entered in the Walsh’s Pharmacy photographic competition before this Monday, March 28. All details on www.fermoypatricksday.com, where you can also upload you entries.
BIGGEST EVER PARADE A HUGE SUCCESS IN MITCHELSTOWN
The St Patrick’s Day parade in Mitchelstown attracted its biggest crowd ever to the streets of the town with the festivities getting under way in glorious sunshine on Thursday last, March 17.
The chairman of the Festival of the Galtees, Michael White was delighted with the turnout for what has become one of the largest parades in north Cork.
“What a great day, I would firstly like to thank everybody who took part in the parade and of course all those people who turned out and lined the streets of our town. It was a fantastic parade and once again this year the people of Mitchelstown did us proud. I would also like to thank the Mitchelstown Business Association for sponsoring the shop front and pub interior competition,” Michael White told The Avondhu.
The grand marshal for the 2011 St Patrick’s Day parade was Jim Skinner Snr and the parade also had a special guest of honour, local boxing champion Danny Keating.
“The Queen of the Galtees, Olive Palmer, led off the parade with the grand marshal, Jim Skinner and Danny Keating and we would like to thank the Thomas Kent and the James Fitzgerald bands for providing the music, Sergeant Aidan Dunne and the local gardai for all their support and, of course, thanks also to Dairygold and Gleeson Logistics. James Murphy put the barriers in place and thanks to Billy Roche and his team of stewards,” Mr White continued.
Michael White also sent his condolences to the Gorey family, “On behalf of the Festival of the Galtees committee, I would like to offer our sincere sympathy to the family of Ruth Gorey in what is a very sad time for them,” he concluded.
Monday 28th March 3:31pm