Great Castleisland Parade But Horns Blow It For Some

The busy scene in Castleisland during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. ©Photograph: John Reidy

In spite of the huge turnout in Castleisland for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade there were aspect of the event that people missed this year and intrusions others didn’t appreciate.

While the organising committee members under Charlie Farrelly were delighted with the ‘footfall’ on the street during the parade they missed the business floats and those of a satirical nature with current political shenanigans as their target.

Omnipresent Existence

Talking about politics: Charlie Farrelly is well used to an almost omnipresent existence and he played a blinder in that regard yesterday.

He was both local election canvassing candidate for the May 24th poll with a float that left no doubt about his standing.

He reverted as announcer and commander in chief of all he surveyed on the broad street before him afterwards.

Floats Missing

If the float and vehicular presence was missing this time out, it was more than made up for by the sheer numbers of feet-on-the-street with the effort and organisation that kind of movement implies.

It was great to see the just formed and Castleisland based Sliabh Luachra Camogie Club and the Firies Hurling Club with a strong presence each in the parade.

For many, the parade was made largely by the Cullen Pipe Band and that neck-hair-raising sound from our ancient past of pipes and drums and what it does to those whose souls are open to its music and mystery.

Blaring Truck Horns

It isn’t the first time that the blaring horns of lorries and even the local fire brigade have caused problems for some parade goers.

People with autistic children were in a particular predicament with no escape from the street as a convoy of vehicles mimicked each other and blared out for the entire length of the route.

They Meant Well

They meant well of course and there were many little, and not so little boys in particular, giving the drivers the ‘pull-down’ signal to sound their horns – and by God they did.

“Surely the day hasn’t turned into a competition for truck drivers to decide who has the biggest horn,” said my morning after caller – her tongue firmly in her own cheek.

Issued Leaflets

In response, Charlie Farrelly said that it’s an issue which arose on other years as well and one the committee has had to deal with it.

“We actually issued leaflets to the people taking part in the parade with large vehicles asking them not to sound the horns and it worked well,” said Charlie.

Very Young Children

“We thought we didn’t need to this year. When one of them blows the horn on a vehicle they’re all at it then and they did just that yesterday.

“It’s an issue we’ll look at and I can understand why, for people with very young children and children with disabilities, we should ask the drivers not to use the horns during the parade in future.

A Great Crowd

“Otherwise it was all good. We got a great crowd and the weather cleared just in time and stayed dry for the duration. The pubs were full and the shops which were open did a great trade.

“We were disappointed that there wasn’t a greater effort by the businesses in the area to enter floats and that’s something we’ll be looking at for next year.

Past Informing the Future

“Learning from the mistakes we made on any given occasion is what informs us for the following year and we’ll definitely be taking your caller’s concerns about the horn-blowing and noise levels of the parade very seriously,” said Chairman Charlie

Charlie would also like the people of the area to know that the hoist they use for putting up and removing the flags and bunting isn’t available to them until next week and that as soon as it is they will be taking it all down until 2020.

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