FOUNDING president of the University of Limerick, Dr Ed Walsh, is to lead Limerick’s St Patrick’s Day festivities as grand marshal.
Dr Walsh has been announced as the Grand Marshal for the 2012 parade and was chosen to lead the parade due to the fact that UL is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary later this year.
Speaking at the launch in Limerick City Gallery of Art this Tuesday evening, Dr Walsh said: “On the 40th anniversary of the admission of the first students to what is now the University of Limerick I am deeply honoured to have been chosen as the Grand Marshal for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I’m looking forward to a really enjoyable day on March 17.”
Deputising for the mayor, who was attending the removal of late Jack Bourke, Cllr Tom Shortt praised Dr Walsh’s “vision and foresight in leading the charge to develop UL”.
More than 3,500 participants are expected to take part in the parade, the theme for which is ‘The World in Union’ in recognition of Limerick’s ethnicity and diversity. The parade regularly attracts more than 70,000 spectators.
The St Patrick’s festival also includes the 42nd International Band Championship, which will take place on March 18 and feature 21 bands from all over Ireland, the USA and Europe, competing for the crown of Overall Parade Champion.