Wexford parade will be politics-free zone
WEXFORD, home of arguably the oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country, is gearing up for one its biggest parades in recent years with no less than 10 bands lining up with dozens of colourful floats.
Parade Secretary John Fowler has appealed to political groups and anyone not associated with enjoying a family day out to stay away from next Monday's parade.
He said it had been an uphill struggle to get sufficient funding for this year's parade, but the goal had been achieved thanks to the support of local sponsors.
The traditional Civic Mass will take place at 9 a.m. in Bride Street Church which will be attended by Mayor Cllr. George Lawlor, local TDs, and members of Wexford Borough Council, attending for the last time ahead of local government reforms which will effecitvely see the council disappear.
The traditional Blessing of the Shamrock will also be done at this Mass.
The parade will assemble St. Patrick's morning in the Maudlintown/Fishers Rowe area of Wexford at 10 a.m. There will be road closures in place from this time, from Brendan's Road into Maudlintown, from the Maudlintown traffic lights down into William Street, Trinity Street to the junction of Parnell Street/Trinity Street. No traffic will be allowed into this area after the parade has started.
As the parade starts, the gardai will be closing other streets along the route of the parade so spectators are warned to expect delays and arrive on time.
'We are again appealing to people living in the area from Brendan's Road, Batt Street down to Fishers Rowe to please leave the area free of vehicles as they have done for many years on that morning and for the duration of the parade,' said Mr. Fowler.
He said the parade committee was also asking for the same co-operation from Fishers Rowe down to the Talbot Hotel and urged people not to park on the right hand side of the road.
The parade will move off from the corner of Fishers Rowe at 11 a.m taking in William Street, Trinity Street, Paul Quay, Crescent Quay, Commercial Quay (with the reviewing stand located just on the right hand side of the Quay adjacent to the bridge) and into Redmond Place and Redmond Square.
The bands taking part in the parade are:Inbhear Mòr Marchers from Arklow, The Tallaght Youth band, The Reserve Defence Force Pipe Band, St. Patrick's Fife & Drum Band, and the New Ross District Pipe Band, the Samba Band, the Rahanna Marching Band along with Gorey Pipe Band, and the the Caledonian Pipes and Drum Band from Birmingham and a band from Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts.
During last year's parades, political banners were erected behind the reviewing stand and Mr. Fowler said the organisers were determined to prevent political groups from spoiling what was a family day out.
Wexford Town's St. Patrick's Day Parade is probably the oldest parade in the country.
It started back in 1917 and continued until the outbreak of World War Two. In 1946 theparade was re-started. In the early days the parade started in the Swan in the Faythe and would make its way to Rowe Street Church in time for midday Mass.