St. Patrick Smiles as Parade Spirit Couldn’t be Dampened

There was fake hair, fake tan, fake mustachios but the wind and the driving rain were real. So too was the colour and excitement and the sense of participation and community spirit in spite of everything thrown at it by the elements.

A huge portion of the spectators at yesterday’s Castleisland St. Patrick’s Day Parade stayed in their cars along Main Street and hoped for the best in terms of viewing opportunities.

As the parade left Tralee Road and wended its way onto Main Street there was a light but enveloping mist on a bitingly cold, south-westerly wind.

A Huge Cavalcade

By the time the huge cavalcade made its way back down town from the old library, there was rain-water of a good inch in depth flowing down the channels.

The thirsty caved in into their own particular temptations earlier than normal. Through cleared patches in the condensation on the pub windows, they kept an eye on the parade and the other on the unfolding story of Cheltenham 2017.

The turn-out was phenomenal and the levels of participation by children was up on other years – in spite of the weather.

Knocknagoshel man, Anthony McAuliffe set out from The Mall with his horse and side-car at around 10:45am and arrived at Tralee Road just on time for the off at 1pm here.

He linked up with Paddy ‘St. Patrick’ Finucane and they did the obligatory lap of the town.

A Splendid Job

Declan McGaley did a splendid job in choosing a vintage, chauffeur driven vehicle for Aeneas and Helen Leane.

The Leanes were being honoured by the parade committee for their work on the early years of the event from its founding in 1989.

The vehicle, a beautiful silver Beauford belonging to Derek Lawson of the Ballylongford based VIP Limo Company Ltd., was straight out of Ms. Marple and it had the facility to roll back the roof – if only….

Aeneas and Helen were invited onto the stage where Helen thanked the organisers and sang Castleisland Town in the rain as the strains on the town covered speaker system were blowing in the wind.

Delighted to be Asked

I was talking to Helen on this Saturday morning and she asked me to be sure to thank the committee and its chairman, Charlie Farrelly for the work they put into the day and to Declan McGaley for his part in their involvement in the event.

“We are delighted to have been asked to take part and it was a great honour for us. It was nice to be reminded and remembered for the part we and others played in starting up the parade all those years ago,” said Helen.

US President, Donald Trump’s wall looks like it’s going to be a single, four inch block on edge and the El Lyncho Construction Company would appear to have the job in hand.

However, the equally productive Cormac O’Mahony family float would suggest that it will be built of brick – on the flat.

Another Brick in the Wall

Behind the speechifying Mr. Trump’s back Bláithín O’Mahony was putting another brick in the wall as the cavalcade of fun and merriment made its way up and down through Main Street.

John Lynch’s float had a simple kind of ‘Exhibit A’ – a colourful sphere with the caption, Lanigan’s Ball.

There was a sting in the tail, however, as Timmy Murphy followed up with a wheelbarrow and a similarly simple exhibit with the title, ‘Lanigan’s Other Ball.’

While disappointed by the disobliging nature of the weather, Charlie Farrelly was upbeat on the participation levels and the spirit of the occasion in spite of all.

A Fair Spin-Off

“I’m delighted for the town itself and that the pubs and restaurants got a fair spin-off from the day. “They supported us financially with the running of the event and it’s only right that they get the benefits that a day like this brings.

“We’d like to applaud and thank the schools, the clubs and organisations, the many children and the people who participated in the parade itself and to the many who came to town for the day – it’s a shame about the weather but it didn’t damped spirits here,” said Charlie.

Look out for more photographs here later today. 

All together now:

Hail, glorious St. Patrick, dear saint of our isle,
On us thy poor children bestow a sweet smile;
And now thou art high in the mansions above,
On Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.

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