The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Tuesday last was an unmitigated success. There is no doubt that we celebrated the day in style. The Lanesboro Ballyleague area basked in sunshine and as we all know there is no finer place in the world to be on a bright sunny day than in the twin Shannonside towns. The area looked absolutely resplendent with the huge array of national, club and county flags fluttering in the light breeze from every house and business.
All through the weekend expectations were high that we would have a second first-rate parade. The day started with large numbers attending Masses on both sides of the bridge celebrating our national saint. As the morning wore on there was more than the usual hum of traffic for St. Patrick’s Day – it was the large numbers making their way to St. Faithleach’s grounds the starting point for the parade.
As the starting time neared the excitement on both sides of the bridge was reaching a high and the crowds were really flooding in town and onto the street. When the first of the parade passed Sorohan’s Lifebelt bar excitement reached fever pitch on a now thronged Main Street as it was now in full view of the huge crowd. It was a sight to behold with the crowds lining the street at least six deep all the way from the bridge. The crowd was absolutely huge and they were not to be disappointed by the parade.
The Longford Pipe Band led the parade and they did so with their usual excellent repertoire of tunes and it was great to see a band that has entertained us on so many other occasion for more years than we care to remember in the county, grace our streets and head the parade. The array of entries was outstanding and the efforts that the each community group, club and business made was a credit to them. The inventiveness shown by one and all was brilliant and brought smiles and laughter all along the route.
Teresa Donlon and the organising committee can be rightly proud of their achievements and they must be congratulated. Last year we had a wonderful parade and we hoped for one as good as that but what we got was infinitely better as each entry set the bar higher for those that intend following them in the year and years to come.
Eugene Murphy the very popular Shannonside presenter was an apt selection as Master of Ceremonies, his ability to adlib from the viewing stand help create an athmosphere that added hugely to the occasion.
Continuing on from Fair Day and Search for a Star, the St Patrick’s Day Parade has rightly taken its place on the calendar of the region. There is a tremendous spirit being generated in the area by all these events. Indeed the talent and volunteerism in the area is truly astounding. It is wonderful to see so many people who we have already seen helping and participating at the other two events again volunteering their time and energy for the wellbeing and enjoyment of others. We must say a very well done to the local Gardai for their great work in ensuring that the event encountered no problems. We must congratulate everybody for the part they played in making this day such as success.
Photograph courtesy of Joe Mc Grath