Limerick council to send five to US St Patrick's Day parades

 Opportunity for Limerick as Knockaderry man to lead New York parade

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Limerick council to send five to US St Patrick's Day parades

Mayor of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon

MAYOR of Limerick Kieran O’Hanlon and three councillors will travel to New York to take part in next year’s St Patrick’s Day parade at a cost of over €11,000.

The reason for such a delegation, councillors were told at Monday’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council, was because Limerickman Michael Dowling was to be the parade’s Grand Marshal.

Mr Dowling is from Knockaderry in West Limerick, Christy O’Connor, senior executive told councillors but is chief executive and president of Northwell Health, one of the largest integrated health care systems in the US. He has also been named as one of the top 25 healthcare executives in the US.

“This is a great honour for Michael and indeed for his native parish and for Limerick,” Mr O’Connor said.

“There is therefore an ideal opportunity for this council to build on this high profile announcement to develop linkages for Limerick during the St Patrick’s Day period at a variety of events that will be taking place in New York.”

“Is it necessary to send the Mayor and three councillors?,” asked Cllr Paul Keller, AAA, pointing to the cost of the undertaking and proposing instead that the Mayor and one councillors should be sufficient but this proposal was defeated. 

“We have three different groups here,” Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon said. It was about marketing Limerick city and county, he argued, and he felt it was “reasonable out of a council of 40 to send three.”

Cllr John Loftus, then argued against a separate proposal to send the Metropolitan Mayor, Cllr Michael Hourigan to Queens for St Patrick’s Day, saying his sister lived there and there was no parade.

“That is quite amazing,” Mayor O’Hanlon said.

As a city councillor and city mayor he had gone to Queens on three occasions, he told Cllr Loftus.

“I am 3,000 miles away and I know about it.” said Cllr O'Hanlon, as councillors agreed to send Cllr Hourigan.