Michael Finucane: optimistic
THE St Patrick’s Day parade in Newcastle West will go ahead this year and on the day itself. the chairman of the Newcastle West Development Association, Michael Finucane, has confirmed.
And he is optimistic, given the enthusiasm of those involved in organising it, that it will be a colourful and substantial affair despite the fact that it is likely to clash with the Ireland vs England Six Nations rugby match.
“We are conscious that there are other parades on that day but felt that was the best slot for us,” Mr Finucane said.
Over the past few years, the St Patrick’s Day parade has been a somewhat sensitive issue in the town, as parades have occurred on the day after St Patrick’s or, some years, not at all. Last year, the parade was pulled together almost at the last minute.
However, Mr Finucane said, several meetings have already taken place to organise this year’s parade. The impetus came from the local Business Association, he explained, and the Development Association has added its weight. “We have some very good people supporting it,” he continued. Members of the community council, the business association and the sports clubs have come on board “to keep the show on the road.”
“The concern was that if it were allowed to lapse, it would be hard to revive,” he said.
“There seems to be enthusiasm for it,” he continued. “We are trying to make it as colourful an event as possible. St David’s Pipe Band will lead the parade, and we hope to have floats as well as some Wren Boy groups.”
The organisers want local clubs, schools and organisations to get involved. The theme is Community Spirit. “I think there will be a fairly good mix,” Mr Finucane said.
A very effective informal committee has been responsible for this year’s parade, he added, but at a recent Development Association meeting, it was decided to set up a formal festival events sub-committee for the future.
The Newcastle West Parade is scheduled for 3pm on St Patrick’s Day. Preparations are also well advanced for the Abbeyfeale parade which will kick off from Mountmahon at 4pm. Prizes will be awarded for Best Float, Best Decorated Window and Best Youth Entry. A meeting of the organising committee will be held at St Ita’s Hall next Monday, March 5 at 7pm and all are welcome.