| 1.6°C Dublin

Enda might have let us down, but this was our day to feel proud

I've been a misery guts for years. I've moaned about it, laughed at it, but I've rarely taken part in it.

Yes – St Patrick's Day has been dead and gone for me. Until this year.

I got the chance to edit in the truck for the RTE live broadcast for St Patrick's Day.

Basically, I worked with an editor and we cut two packages – one for Tourism Ireland and one for the St Patrick's highlights show.

I can't remember the last time I ventured into the streets of Dublin on March 17.

I was either not living in the country or away for the weekend or tucked up at home getting ready to listen to Joe Duffy talk about the carnage on the streets.

I left my home yesterday at 5.55am and strolled into the city centre.

SMILING

The crew were to meet at 6.30am for breakfast and I thought I would soak up the early morning atmosphere.

The birds were singing, the sun was rising and the party-goers were making their way home.

I laughed each time I looked into a taxi to see some poor unfortunate staring out the window, looking like the living dead.

After the crew brekkie, I made my way to the OB truck and saw the keen and the committed lining the streets behind the barriers.

They had flags and hats. Their children had faces painted and, I kid you not, everyone was smiling.

For the first time I witnessed the joy of this festival. Thousands and thousands of people were happy and they were cheering.

As I was editing away, my mind went overseas to the States where Enda Kenny was going to be in a parade later that day.

And I was reminded how disappointed I was in him that he hadn't taken a stance.

He could have taken the lead from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who both boycotted their cities' St Patrick's Day parades because LGBT people could not walk under LGBT banners

In New York, Heineken and Guinness pulled their sponsorship. The maker of Sam Adams did likewise in Boston.

But I put my disappointment to the side as I looked to the streets of Dublin.

I was blown away that people could be bothered to come here from other countries, that people went out on to the streets to wave their flags, that the marchers put so much effort into their costumes, their make-up, their dance routines and their floats.

And I'm going to say it – I was proud to be Irish. Things are looking up for this country – I can feel it in my waters.

Even if our Taoiseach lets us down sometimes, perhaps we don't actually need him.

Being part of a crew that was filming the parade was an honour, because I got to see through the lens just how good a country we really are.


Privacy