Dublin star Dean Rock attends one of the first Paddy's Day parades for users of Stewarts Care
One of the first Paddy’s Day parades in the country took place in Dublin today at Palmerstown.
Months of preparation went into preparing the floats by the service users of Stewarts Care, according to Dublin football legend Dean Rock, who works there.
“The parade showcases all that is positive about Stewart’s care and the area of Palmerstown,” he commented.
"Service users, staff and people of the local community come together to take part in the wonderful event. It is an event that service users really look forward to each year and the number of people taking part has grown each year,” he said.
Stewarts provides care for adults with intellectual disabilities. There is a school and pre-school on campus as well.
The Paddy's Day parade has become an annual event, and the Garda Band provided the rousing music this morning. The theme was “Irish Myths and Legends”, and the parade saw school children from Stewarts school and the pre-school enjoying the festivities.
The Grand Marshall was Johnny Hennessy, and volunteers from the local Ulster bank acted as marshalls at the event.
“It was two months really putting the floats together. A huge amount of work goes into it. The standard of the floats is actually quite high and it’s a credit to the staff and the service users,” said Dean.
The parade lasted around an hour and began at Stewarts sports centre, led out by the garda band.
It was followed by a ceili in the great hall in Stewarts main building featuring amongst others a host of ukueles and traditional music and dance.
There were up to 20 floats in the parade. Among those enjoying the day were residential service users, day attender service users, and children from the pre-school and special needs school.
He said its scheduled to take place around this time of year because it gives everyone an opportunity to view the parade elsewhere on the day. “We have got a lot of service users who don’t just come from the Dublin area, they come from all over Ireland, “ he pointed out.