independent

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Crowds come out for gala in green

DAVID MEDCALF

Published 18/03/2014 | 05:34

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ENNISCORTHY turned out in force for St Patrick's Day as the rain stayed away and thousands of people thronged the streets for the national knees-up.

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Green hats and green wigs set the fashion tone as crowds lined the street for a good natured and noisy parade of clubs, organisations and businesses.

English visitors Northfield Caledonian set a brisk pace at the head of the parade with their bagpipes, black busbies and leopard skins.

And they were more than matched for decibels by their friends from the St Colman's pipe band in Ballindaggin who were in fine fettle.

But the biggest noise of all was produced by the ear-splitting cannons and muskets of the Vinegar Hill recreation enthusiasts who filled the air with gunpowder smoke and loud crashes.

Compere Liam Sharkey, from his vantage on the review stand in Abbey Square, urged everyone to applaud all the marchers and the crowd responded with ovation after ovation.

The young members of the Enniscorthy gymnastics club performed a few cartwheels, while the Delightful Dollies needed little coaxing to show off their line dancing moves.

Camogie players and Irish dancers marched proudly round the town. Basketball players showed their dribbling skills and hockey goalkeepers strode out in their body armour.

An RTE film crew was on hand to capture the atmosphere and the shops were in festival mode with 34 premises entered in the Patrick's Day competition for the best window display.

GAA clubs, Moyne Rangers, scouts and brownies, haka dancing rugby players, swimmers and theatrical performers all put their best feet forward.

The most elaborate costumes were showcased by the FDYS who came to parade in elaborate Alice in Wonderland guise.

One of the loudest rounds of clapping was for the two motorists forced to complete tricky three-point turns as they strayed by mistake on to the route and they were obliged to make rapid about-turns.

Two leprechauns from Search and Rescue patrolled the waters of the Slaney, just in case, while Paul Reilly was at the mic leading the fun and games in Market Square.

Councillors marking the last appearance of the Town Council in the annual extravaganza chose to march rather than sit on the stand.

They were led by cathaoirleach Johnny Mythen, sporting the largest bunch of shamrock in Enniscorthy on his lapel for the occasion.

Gardaí were on easy going duty and council staff kept a watchful eye out to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

Gorey Guardian

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