Dawn chorus provides timely start in Dingle
'THE early bird get the worm' says the proverb that reminds us of the relative merits of an early start. And so it was in Dingle where the local Fife and Drum band and its many followers enjoyed a bright and pleasant spring morning on their dawn march while the town's midday parade was somewhat under the weather.
Dingle's 6am parade - the earliest on the Emerald Isle - is such a part of local tradition that hundreds of locals rose from their beds to follow the band.
People came from further away too - among them South Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae and his councillor nephew, Johnny.
For dedicated followers of parades there was little rest to be had as the crowds began to gather further west in Baile an Fheirteáraigh by mid-morning and before long the village was thronged as Naomh Pádraig Liam Ó Luing led the mórshiúil in glorious sunshine.
The action moved back to Dingle afterwards as crowds - and clouds - gathered for the town's second parade, a colourful event with varying hues.
The crew from Feile na Bealtaine gave something of a preview of their forthcoming May festival parade as they emerged dressed as Mad Hatter's teacups. The parish of Lispole entertained in spades with their own unique interpretation of RTE's 'Are You Being Served' while pirates from Dingle Oceanworld warned that Lydia, the great white shark currently traversing the Atlantic, is on her way ... Da dumm...
Despite some heavy showers, which left paradeers and spectators soaked to the skin, spirits remained high as the Dingle Fife and Drum resurrected themselves after their early morning jaunt, striding out for their second outing of the day.
After that, there was little need to 'wet the shamrock' but locals and the many visitors who were in town for the long weekend felt tradition had to be observed and decamped to the nearest pub.