ELVIS managed to gain entry to the St Patrick’s day parade, but ‘Jesus’ was turned away at the gates after failing to make it past security.
A man driving a van with ‘Jesus’ emblazoned across it sought to make it into the St Patrick’s day parade in the city on Monday, but security staff were quick to spot that his name was not on the guest-list of the 102 floats in the parade.
An estimated 70,000 spectators lined the route of Ireland’s largest regional parade in honour of our patron saint, with more than 4,000 people taking part in the parade itself.
The parade was led by ambassadors of the Special Olympics, while Jamie Hartigan, who starred in RTE’s The Voice of Ireland, performed one of his raps for the crowd.
And he vowed that he won’t be giving up on his dreams of becoming a rapper after being knocked out of the hit show.
“It’s my first time performing in the Limerick parade. It’s been unbelievable; the feeling is crazy. The crowd are fantastic. It shows how great Limerick actually is, instead of all the negativity, today you see all the positives.”
The 24 year-old from Rathbane sang one of his own raps, called If You Knew I Was Dying, in front of the grand stand, to the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin, city and county councillors, Fianna Fail deputy Willie O’Dea, Fine Gael deputy Kieran O’Donnell and the head of Limerick’s garda division, Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan.
While the sun failed to make an appearance of the day, there was no shortage of colour with hundreds of leprechaun hats, Irish flags, wigs, and ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’ t-shirts.
No longer solely the preserve of green-blooded Celts, Limerick’s multicultural community were also out in force, with the Nepalese, Polish, Russian and Filipino communities represented in the parade.
Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Annie Ntuela, now living in Dooradoyle, was enjoying her first Limerick parade with children Gladys, 7, Lara, 10, and Jovie, 9.
The new Limerick Rose, Dawn Ryan, also performed one of her first official duties in her year, as he marched down O’Connell Street with the Marine Search and Rescue.
The Limerick Gospel Choir also energised the crowd with Pharrell’s hit song Happy.
For more coverage of the parade in the city and those that took place across teh county, see the Limerick Chronicle tomorrow and Leader print editions later this week.