We’re into the final furlong of preparations for the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There are only 19 days to go from today.
On that note, the small committee behind the outright success of the event back over many years, will meet at Browne’s Bar on this Thursday night, March 2nd at 8pm.
The meeting will act as a committee recruitment exercise as hands on deck have, traditionally, been few and very far between in the run up to the great occasion.
There can be no doubt that the day is one of the most vitally important to the economy of the locality. It stands beside the November 1st Horse Fair Day in terms of revenue generation – if you want to look at it like that.
Even so, the patriotism aspect is always left to the handful to carry the can for the rest of the town and wider community.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Castleisland, if looked at on a per capita basis, would be well up there with the best Ireland has to offer.
For this there is a huge debt of thanks to the committee members who, early on a prior Sunday morning, are out there in a cherry picker tying up street straddling bunting and flags to poles.
Helen Leane will always be the ‘First Lady’ of the Castleisland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Helen, along with her husband Aeneas, pioneered the notion of a parade in Castleisland back in early 1988. When they retired from active service the event wobbled a bit until John Skevena O’Sullivan and Teddy McCarthy got their shoulders to the wheel.
Michael O’Callaghan then took up the challenge and in spite of the Foot and Mouth year falling in his tenure, he delivered it safely into the hands of Charlie Farrelly and his still serving, voluntary committee. John Skevena O’Sullivan is still playing an active role in the committee.
There is also a bunch of thanks to the people, clubs and organisations in neighboring villages who visit in force to get involved in the great annual salute to St. Patrick.
This year’s parade will be led again by the Cullen Pipe Band and will set off at 1pm from its traditional starting point at Tralee Road. And it will take in the whole town from The Market House to the old library.
There will be a ‘gig-rig’ but it won’t be turned into a reviewing stand this year as there were many objections to the politicisation of last year’s event.
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