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Seven Marching Bands In Thurles St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Official Launch Of Thurles St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2013

Paddy's-Day2013-1
Reporter Tom Gleeson.

The official launch of the Thurles St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrations took place on Wednesday last, February 20th, in Thurles Town Council Offices.

Thurles Town Council is once again the main sponsor of this year’s parade and were represented at the launch by Thurles Mayor, Michael Cleary, together with Councillors John Kenehan, John Kennedy (P.R.O.) and Evelyn Nevin.  Thurles Gardaí were represented by Garda Chris Verling and Garda Clodagh Kenny.  Other private business sponsors were represented by Michael Carew (Michael’s Jewellers) and Thurles Chamber of Commerce president, Mr P.J. Shanahan.  Also in attendance at the meeting were Martin Ryan (Chairman), Tomas Gleeson (Secretary), Patricia Durack-O’Dwyer (Treasurer), and community members Mai Quinn, Jimmy Purcell, Billy Clancy, Bart Howard, Jimmy Kavanagh and Emma Moore, (Latter 2012 Rose of Thurles ).

Praise

Thurles Mayor, Michael Cleary, praised the committee for the hard work that they had put in over the last number of years, to make the Thurles Parade such a success.   “This is our national day of celebration and we should all join in and assist in any way that we can, to make the Thurles Parade the envy of Tipperary,” stated Mayor Michael. He praised all the voluntary workers, who in the past, and indeed this year will help out on the day, thus ensuring the parades continued annual success.  The Mayor also praised the local business community for their continued support and generous sponsorship and was astonished at the excellent quality of the prizes, which were on view at the launch, for this year’s parade event.

Chairperson Martin Ryan thanked the business community, also, for their generous sponsorship of the parade. “Without this sponsorship the parade in Thurles could not be as successful as it has been,” he stated.

The Chairperson also explained that it would not be feasible to organise a parade for the 17th March, because it would be impossible to get even one band for such a parade due to their other parade commitments elsewhere.   For that reason the parade in Thurles is being organised for Monday March 18th, at which at least seven marching bands will now be participating.   He also thanked the volunteers that help out on the day of the parade, by acting as stewards or helping out with the annual fund raising bucket collection.   He also praised the local Gardai, who have always assisted and co-operated with the smooth running of the parade and thanked all those who annually participate in any way to make this St. Patrick’s Day Parade a success.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is also generously sponsored by the business people of Thurles and by local clubs, schools and organisations.  Garda Chris Verling praised the committee for the smooth running of the parade each year and promised the full support of the local Gardaí to facilitate the same smooth running of this year’s parade.

Mr John Kenehan confirmed that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Thurles is organised by a sub-committee of Thurles Town Council & he thanked Semple Stadium, Thurles Greyhound Stadium and Thurles L.I.T. for allowing the use of their premises to facilitate the initial parades assembly.    He thanked Martin Ryan for organising the parade for the past 16 years and urged the people of Thurles and surrounding areas to get fully behind the event.

Grant Aid For Parade Floats

A grant of up to €250 will be available this year to any group or school, wishing to enter a large float in this year’s event.   The Parade will leave from Castlemeadows at 2.45pm & all participants should be in position by 2.15pm at the latest.     As stated seven bands will take part in this year’s parade &a large turnout is expected on the day with traffic & parking restrictions in operation on Parnell Street and Liberty Square.

Tom Gleeson thanked Michael & Joan Carew (Michael’s Jewellers) for their continued generous sponsorship over the past 15 years and congratulated Martin Ryan and Jimmy Purcell for their tremendous fund raising efforts over the past couple of months.

Prize Fund

This year there is a total prize fund of some €3,000 for floats, marching bands, marching groups, comedy, costume, business, individual entries, best dressed windows, best traditional window, etc.    Approximately 20 prizes will be given out on the day and it is expected that over 750 medals will be handed out to those children taking part in the parade. (Last year saw 940 medals handed out.)

Music in Liberty Square will be supplied by Dermot Lyons from 2.00pm until the parade arrives in the square.  This music and entertainment will continue in Liberty Square, after the parade, until 5.00pm.  A Mobile Farm Unit (Agri-Aware) will set up outside the Ursuline Primary School from 1.30pm onwards.

The Parade Committee will be awarding prizes for the best dressed window and the best traditional window.    All shops and premises are asked to dress their windows appropriate to the occasion.  Green, white and gold balloons are being supplied by Thurles St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and will be available, free of charge, at Thurles Post Office counter from the 8th of March.

Parade entries or sponsorship should be forwarded to Thomas Gleeson, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee c/o Thurles Town Council Office, Thurles.   Telephone No. 087-9732837 or  E-mail dancingforpleasure@eircom.net

Special Note: Schools, Clubs, Sporting Organisations, Factories, Businesses and Societies, Local villages and Rural Groups, Farming Groups and Individuals can be involved by:-
(1) Taking part in the Parade as a group or individually.
(2) Entering a float.
(3) Providing street entertainment.
(4) Providing stewards or helpers for two hours on the day.
(5) Pony and trap, donkey and cart, mini farm etc.
(6) Costumes and fancy dress.
(7) Sponsorship.
(8) Donations.

All in all, this event promises to be as enjoyable and entertaining as always and our thanks to those involved.

Photo Courtesy  G.Willoughby

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