Monday 23 April 2018

Town buzzing as thousands gather for colourful parade

Laura Colfer and Hayley and Lorna Rochford at the St Patrick's Day parade in New Ross
Laura Colfer and Hayley and Lorna Rochford at the St Patrick's Day parade in New Ross

David Looby

A HUGE crowd enjoyed the St Patrick's Day Parade in New Ross as thousands of people lined the streets to watch its progression through the town to the quay front.

Crowds gathered in the early afternoon to watch the parade leave from Irishtown. The Dunbrody Archers shot to success as the number one float with their brilliant effort which featured a badger wearing a No 13 Irish rugby shirt in honour of Brian O'Driscoll who played his final game in a green shirt in the victory over France on Saturday; as well as other animals and a target stuck with arrows.

The children of the Mernagh school of Dance were awarded second best float and they put on a great show as pirates and princesses.

New Ross Special Olympics members headed up the parade which was enjoyed by members of New Ross Town Council members Niamh FitzGibbon, Michael Sheehan, Victor Furness, Paul Crowdle and Anthony Connick. Cllr Connick had just returned from attending the parade in Hartford, Connecticut with Town Clerk Anthony Bailey. The councillors were grand marshals at the event to mark the end of an era for New Ross Town Council.

Local sporting groups were out in force, with many doing performances in from to the main stage. Male members of a local Operation Transformation group gave the crowd a laugh as they dressed in drag; while New Ross Rugby Club got a great welcome by MC Tom Doyle who said the next Brian O'Driscoll was among them.

New Ross Sea Scouts brought an attractive array of flags with them waving them as they went along; while New Ross & District Pipe Band performed rousing tunes as they marched in time along the quay front.

Rathnure Pantomime Society brought some Disney characters to add to children's enjoyment of the day. For motoring enthusiasts there was plenty to enjoy with fine displays of vehicles from local motoring groups.

Cathaoirleach of New Ross Town Council Niamh FitzGibbon thanked the New Ross St Patrick's Day committee for doing a wonderful job organising the event over the past few months and said the children who participated in the parade were the stars of the show.

'It's wonderful to see the buzz and the noise and the friendships here; it's people that make this town.'

She said the parade was the last to be addressed by a cathaoirleach from New Ross Town Council, as it, along with all town councils, will be disbanded later this year.

'I am profoundly proud of New Ross Town Council and I am deeply saddened by this decision but what we can't change we must endure,' she said.

New Ross Standard