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Paddy’s Day parades and celebrations are back

March 6th, 2022 11:40 PM

By Southern Star Team

Roisín McKenna was in the festive spirit at the Bandon St Patrick’s Day car parade in 2020. This year, the traditional style of parade is back on in many West Cork towns. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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BY JACKIE KEOGH and  KIERAN O’MAHONY

‘MOVING on with music and song’ will be the theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Skibbereen, but other West Cork towns are also putting the finishing touches to this year’s celebrations.

Members of Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce are delighted at the prospect of once again hosting a local parade involving businesses, schools, clubs and community groups at 3pm on Thursday March 17th.

There will be lots of prizes for best float, group and individual, while the Julia Hickey Memorial Shield will be presented to the overall winning entry on the day.

Assembly for those taking part will be at the children’s playground at 2.30pm for a 3pm start of the parade which will travel down North Street, Main Street, past the Bridge and finish at the mart car park.  Gaelscoil Dr Uí Shúilleabháin will also host a tea party in Abbeystrewry hall after the parade.

‘Everyone in Bantry is looking forward to a return to celebrations with our Bantry Goes Green weekend festival,’ said Danielle Delaney, chairperson of Bantry Business Association.

The programme of events is being organised by Bantry Tourism and Development Association with the assistance of several other community groups and a table quiz to help raise funds for the festivities will take place at The Quays Bar on Friday March 4th.

Events from noon until 4pm on St Patrick’s Day will include traditional music, song and dance, and the parade led by Ballingeary Pipe Band, followed by live music with Roola Boola.

Other events include live music in local bars and hotels, as well as live music on Wolfe Tone Square on Bank Holiday Friday, which coincides with the weekly, outdoor market.

Check the programme too for the heritage walk, the Family Leprechaun Trail Walk in the grounds of the Westlodge Hotel, and the Bantry Pet and Equine Animal roadshow at Wolfe Tone Square on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Castletownbere is looking forward to its first parade in four years although car parades, over the two years, were well attended and well received locally.

At 2pm, musician Aoife O’Neill will be performing in the square while the floats will assemble at the east end of the pier and the parade will start at the SuperValu car park at 3pm.

Emcee Martin Hegarty will introduce the floats, while Scoil Rinci Carney will be performing traditional Irish dancing at the square. Organisers of Bandon’s St Patrick’s Day  parade have opted to hold a blended parade this year and while they will be hosting the regular parade - after an absence of two years – they will also be posting a virtual piece on Facebook and they are asking community groups and clubs to make little videos for them so they can post them online on the day.

Plans for Dunmanway’s St Patrick’s Day parade are in full swing with it set to commence at 2pm and promises lots of fancy dress floats, food stalls, live music and other entertainment.

Clonakilty will also have a parade from 2pm but Kinsale’s St Patrick’s Maritime and Street Parade will not take place this year.

Organisers cited time constraints and the inability to fundraise due to the pressures that businesses have endured over the past two years as reasons.

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