Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona dár gcairde agus teaghlach! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to friends and family! I will be in Birmingham on the feastday, Tuesday, which has now become a national festival in Ireland. The parade in Birmingham takes place tomorrow, Sunday, having survived a funding crisis this year following council spending cuts. Meanwhile in County Monaghan and neighbouring areas, various towns and villages will be celebrating over the next few days. Here is a list of some of them:
BALLYBAY: The parade organised by the local Chamber of Commerce sets off from Gerry Traynor’s shop at 5pm. There will be live music and dancing from 3pm. A prize of €500 is offered for best float, with the runner-up receiving €300 and third place a prize of €200.
CARRICKMACROSS: Parade at 3pm. See my report last Sunday.
CLONES: A parade with a difference takes place in the town on Monday 16th March. Participants are being asked to come along at 6:30pm to Páirc Naomh Tiarnach with glow-sticks and lights, to light up the route. The parade will begin at 7:00pm along Church Hill and Fermanagh Street to The Diamond, where a fireworks display will be held at 8:30pm.
INNISKEEN: The celebrations in Patrick Kavanagh country will be tomorrow, Sunday 15th March. The parade in the village will be at 1:00pm. Today they were hunting leprechauns in the area!
MONAGHAN: The parade in the town will be the biggest in the county. The parade starts at 3:00pm and the route begins at the Lower Courthouse car park. It then goes along Broad Road, Park Street, Heaton’s Corner, left along North Road, Glaslough Street and then proceeds past the reviewing stand in The Diamond, continuing on to Dublin Street. British rally champion Daniel McKenna from County Monaghan is this year’s Grand Marshall. Participants have been asked to incorporate the theme ‘There’s no place like home’ into their parade contributions.
Following the parade the ‘Gig Rig’ will host peformances from several local acts from 4:00pm until 10:00pm.
NEWBLISS: The parade in the village is at 2:00pm tomorrow, Sunday 15th March, led by Daniel McKenna, the British rally champion, who comes from the area. There will also be a car boot sale on the day from 12:30pm.
ORAM: Near Castleblayney and home of country music legend Big Tom has built up a reputation for the smallest parade in Ireland. There will be live country and Irish music outside Rooney’s with Paddy King on the stand at 11:30am and the parade on Tuesday will start at 12:30pm from the Oram Centre. There will be a vintage display and a number of floats. Lady Mayor Margaret Ward will deliver a welcome address along with Big Tom McBride at 1:00pm. There will be jigs and reels from All-Ireland and world champion dancers from the Karen McMahon School. The celebrations will continue late into the evening.
COOTEHILL in County Cavan has a parade at 3pm. There are also annual parades in Kingscourt and Shercock.
DUNDALK and Ardee in County Louth will also be celebrating. Have a good day, wherever you are around the world! You are welcome to post greetings below in the comments section, especially if you have a Monaghan connection.