Thurles St Patrick’s Day Parade

The Thurles St.Patrick’s Day Parade 2009 was the biggest parade yet in the history of the town, with well over 70% of the local population turning out in the warm Spring sunshine to view over sixty floats taking part. Click the play button on the video below and have a look!

St Patricks Day Thurles 2009 from George Willoughby on Vimeo.

(Music for the video is called “Sweeney’s Buttermilk” by FIMM.)

So who was St. Patrick?

Patrick was a young middle class Roman, but Britain born Christian missionary, born at Banna Venta Berniae, Cumbria, England, (Roman name Banna Venta Berniae translates as “the peninsula with a market place by the mountains”) and is the patron saint of Ireland.  When he was about sixteen, he was captured and taken by traders as a slave to northern Ireland. Patrick worked as a herdsman, and remained a captive for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He later writes that his faith grew in captivity, and that he prayed daily. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and, after various adventures, returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.

He was educated at a monastery school of divinity founded by Saint Illtud, often called “the oldest university in the world”. After entering the church, he later returned to Ireland as a missionary to the north and west of the Ireland, but little is known about the places where he worked and no link can be made between Patrick and any particular church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved from after the time of Patrick and the day became a feast day in the universal church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan monk and scholar Luke Wadding.

Patrick died in AD 461, a date accepted by some modern historians and March 17th, popularly known as St. Patrick’s Day and celebrated through out the world, is believed to be his death date and thus is the date celebrated as his feast day.

St. Patrick is said to be buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, alongside St. Brigid and St. Columba.

From the people of  Thurles, “A happy St Patrick’s Day to you all”


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