Wednesday 21 February 2018

Revellers keep party going as marching bands play on

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

THE spirit of St Patrick's Day was still going strong long after the official celebrations wound down.

Gort in Co Galway hosted its official parade 24 hours after the rest of the country – but organisers had their reasons.

They decided to defer the parade to allow supporters of the newly crowned All-Ireland hurling club champions St Thomas's to attend Sunday's battle with Leinster champions Kilcormac Killoughey at Croke Park.

And there was no shortage of good-natured banter as the hurlers hoisted aloft their first-ever Tommy Moore Cup in front of their local rivals as the squad travelled the parade route in their final-day suits on the back of a lorry.

Elsewhere, members of Canada's oldest and largest youth marching band, the Burlington Teen Tour band, were also celebrating after beating 22 marching bands from around the world to be crowned the winners of the Limerick International Band Championship in the city.

They were also named the Best Youth Band in Dublin the previous day.

The band performed in front of 40,000 spectators as part of Limerick's St Patrick's Festival, which featured marching bands from Ireland, Europe and North America.

"This is the first time in Ireland for all of us and we worked really hard so it's great to be going home with this international award," said band leader Jeremy Johnston-Lindsay

Meanwhile some diehard revellers took part in final-day festivities of the Dublin St Patrick's Festival.

Donning explorer costumes, hordes of children took part in the Festival Treasure Hunt from Dublin City Hall to various landmarks across the city, while others headed to funfairs at Merrion Square and Custom House Quay.

And yet more people sampled craft beer at the Irish Craft Beer Village at the IFSC while the city centre pubs were still doing a brisk trade from the estimated 120,000 foreign visitors here over the weekend. Organisers said the Dublin parade drew a crowd of 483,000 including a record 3,500 participants.

Irish Independent

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