Ireland is bigger in America than it is here at home – if you know what I mean. Most places in the good old USA where they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – they do so with the bit firmly between their teeth and they go for it.
It usually takes just one brave Irish man or woman to plant the seed of the shamrock in a fertile mind or two and they’re away, brass and pipe bands, twenty-one gun salute and millions on the streets and a week-long festival.
There are Irish people up to their throats in the organisation of the biggest shop window any country is afforded in the USA in the round of the year.
Currans native, John ‘Seán’ Barry will be honored as the 2015 Grand Marshall in this Sunday’s (March 8th) St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Annapolis, Maryland, USA.
Mr. Barry has been active in the Irish-American community over there for many years. His daughter Theresa told The Maine Valley Post in an email last night.
The fact that his middle name is actually Patrick was only half the battle. His qualifications go much further than that. He also got similar parades off the ground in Gaithersburg in 1998 and is a founder member of the Washington St. Patrick’s Parade, held on Constitution Avenue there since 1972.
He has a brother, Eamon, in Dublin and a sister, Joan Barry Harriss in Chicago.
John or Seán Barry, as he was known during his schooldays, attended secondary school here in Castleisland.
Previewing the event, as far back as two months ago, in the local on-line newspaper, The Capital Gazette, photographer / writer, Wendi Winters really gives us the lowdown on how seriously our people abroad take our shared heritage and their long distance love affair with St. Patrick and the best Shamrock growing soil in the world:
“Hang on to yer shamrocks, lads and lassies! O’Napolis is going green again.
On March 8, the downtown streets will become a river of emerald as nearly 100 groups parade through the city in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. But wait! It’s a full nine days before the iconic Irish saint’s big day.
“The parade’s mission is to support Annapolis businesses,” said organizer John O’Leary, “and to honor the Irish members of the military and first responders.”
O’Leary, co-founder of Warrior Events with Bob Saunders, scheduled the festive parade date slightly more than a week early to bring business downtown in advance of St. Patrick’s Day and to avoid competing with St. Patrick’s parades in Baltimore, Washington, Alexandria, Virginia, and even Boston. After previous parades, crowds lingered to shop, dine and sip downtown.
The third annual St. Patrick’s Parade will step off from Westgate Circle and march eastward on West Street toward Church Circle. From there, the parade route heads downhill to City Dock.
“It’s grown beyond a parade,” said O’Leary, a former Marine. “Now, it’s the start of Irish Week in Annapolis.”
Go néirí an bothar leat amarach a Sheáin de Barra ! Agus Theresa – Go raibh míle maith agat !