Colour, excitement and great atmosphere at region's parades


Colour, excitement and great atmosphere at region’s parades

The standard of St Patrick’s Day parades in The Avondhu area continues to improve, with the primary parades of both Fermoy and Mitchelstown drawing large numbers.

Thursday, 21 March 2013
7:20 AM GMT

Natives and visitors alike couldn't but be impressed by the 'shows' put on at the various St. Patrick's Day parades in The Avondhu region.


Fermoy had a lot to live up to given the high standard of previous years and once again, it raised the bar significantly. The numbers just grow and grow and this year, to the delight of the organising committee, they had 47 entries, up six on last year’s record.

There was a huge variety of entries too, from pre-schools to Active Retirement and UN Veterans, from Fermoy Musical Society to The Voice of Ireland, floating boats to sub aqua. Almost every sports club in the town and area was represented.

Organisers chose a grand marshal with a glorious sporting pedigree and a man who has given an awful lot back to soccer over the years. Christy Kennedy was proud as punch as he stepped it out along Cork Road, MacCurtain Street and Patrick Street last Sunday and who could blame him - with the sun on his back and the sound of cheering supporters echoing in his ears. The soccer club came out in huge numbers to support him.

The winners of this year's prizes were: Best Overall – Fermoy Rowing Club, Best Club - Karate Club, Educational Award - Fermoy Concert Band, Youth Award - GAA Club, Best Original - Rathcormac Scouts and Beavers. Special Awards went to Blackwater Adventure Activities and Sub-Aqua Club and the Best Premises to Hickey's of Patrick Street.

Kelly McDonagh Mongan’s Voice Of Ireland was a very novel entry and Kelly was thrilled with the reception she got from the crowd. Don’t forget to get your votes in for her this coming Sunday night!

The Fermoy committee extends a special thank you to Christy Kennedy for honouring them by being their grand marshal, to Fermoy Gardai for their very friendly and efficient help, to Fermoy Lions Club and Fermoy Rugby Club for providing stewards, to their volunteers for stewarding, to their sponsors and of course to all who participated in the parade and made it an enjoyable and entertaining spectacle for the large crowd. A tremendous amount of work went in to preparing vehicles and floats. All ages and various nationalities took time out to line the streets and support the marchers.


In Mitchelstown, it was a degree or two colder, but thankfully the parade escaped a nasty shower that fell at the very end of proceedings. 'Town also chose a distinguished sportsman from yesteryear in the form of Mr. Gaelic Football himself, Jim Skinner Sr - a student of the game who rarely misses a training session, never mind a game. A Blackthorns man to the core, Jim was fully deserving of the honour.

The reviewing gallery had a mix of politicians, business people and religious. On the microphone was Michael White, another pillar of the community who has been to forefront of community activity in Mitchelstown for several decades.

The song tells us there are 40 shades of green, however, in Mitchelstown for the feast day of our patron saint, there must have been 140. In the midst of recessionary pressures, towns people made light of economic ills to sally forth with thoughts of a better tomorrow in their minds.


Down Ballylanders way they weren't going to let the side down and enthusiastic locals served up a mixture of patriotic fervour, a great variety of band music, witty slogans, entertaining floats, hardy vintage men, chirpy children and a few animals for good measure. Fr. Tom Breen seemed impressed by the entire spectacle and well he might be, it was a parade that lifted the spirits.

No doubt this trend was replicated in other towns and villages as well. One can only salute everyone who rose early to make the effort, don the shamrock and march shoulder to shoulder with family, neighbours and kin folk - all determined to make a statement of nationalistic intent on a day when it is indeed great to feel Irish.

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