SLIDESHOW: Coming together, put staying apart for St Patrick's day in Limerick suburb

ALTHOUGH traditional sights and sounds of big bands and colourful displays were missing this year, many people held their own smaller celebrations.

St Patrick’s parades in Limerick city, the county and nationwide were off the cards this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, that did not stop communities decorating their windows, enjoying their local areas, and wishing each other a Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

At the Grange in Raheen, parents and children decorated their windows, and got together on the dot of three this Tuesday to say hello and mark our national holiday – while of course keeping a safe distance from one another.

It was the brainchild of Marlene Brosnan, who sent a message around to her neighbours to see if they could come together.

“We wanted to let the children know that although we are keeping a social distance with one another that it’s okay. We are in this together. It’s given us a nice distraction for the last 24 hours.”

Her neighbour Margaret O’Connor added: “We might not be able to go to a St Patrick’s Day parade today, but we can still decorate our homes.”

“What’s great about all this is it has gave the kids something to do today, to focus on. Our house was up since nine o’clock this morning painting and colouring. We hadn’t been able to prepare for St Patrick’s Day, we had other things on our mind,” she added.

Meanwhile, over in Castleconnell, locals found their own unique way to mark St Patrick’s Day.

A video was played to the village of all the floats in 2017 to remind them of the fun they’ve had in the past.

Dave O’Hora, who has compered the parade​ since it restarted 15 years ago, said this Tuesday was “extremely quiet and very strange.”

But he added: “I’m looking forward to next year already. I spent most of St Patrick’s Day in front of a mirror practicing for next year’s one!”

“It is rumoured that George Lee (the popular owner of Shannon Stores in the village) has already started working on a float and I am looking forward to seeing it next year!” he joked.

We can all take a leaf out of Mr O’Hora’s book and try and find some bit of fun with all that is going on in the country and the world.

While it might have been the quietest St Patrick’s Day since the man himself was on this earth, many new and novel ways were found elsewhere to celebrate our patron saint.

Throughout the day Limerick Leader readers shared their St Patrick's Day celebrations with us via social media and WhatsApp.

From musical performances to lone pipers, country walks and even a car parade, there has been no shortage of alternative ideas in Limerick to mark St Patrick's Day.

Music  was played in people’s homes, while there were vehicle convoys – including one in Annacotty and Monaleen, with everybody thus avoiding social contact.

Their car horns replaced the sound of music, in this instance.​

Two people joked they might have missed the St Patrick’s Day parade looking down an empty and desolate O’Connell Street.

It was left to Maura Ryan from Cappamore to deliver perhaps the most powerful message of all in these challenging times: stay safe, and we will all pull through.

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