Ghosts of 1916 take centre stage in St Patrick’s Day parades

Round up of what to expect at festivities around the country on Thursday

Charlie Jacob and Nicholas Kavanagh, from the Waterford Spraoi Street and Spectacle Company making final preparations on their floats prior to the St Patrick’s Day parade In Dublin. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Charlie Jacob and Nicholas Kavanagh, from the Waterford Spraoi Street and Spectacle Company making final preparations on their floats prior to the St Patrick’s Day parade In Dublin. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

 

Galway

The 1916 centenary and Galway’s bid to be European Capital of Culture 2020 will be central to the city parade, which will have more than 50 participants.

Guest of honour will be Druid Theatre co-founder Marie Mullen. A crowd of 25,000 is expected at the parade, which will include everything from bicycles to “monster trucks”. It begins at 11.30am on Fr Griffin Road.

Cork

The Cork parade will be led by seven actors performing as the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation. They will re-enact scenes from the Rising as they lead more than 3,000 participants through the city’s streets.

The parade will start at 1pm from the South Mall.

Kerry

Killarney will see the town’s five stone churches all going green for St Patrick’s Day. Parade viewers are encouraged to arrive in either 1916 or 2016 costumes.

Kerry’s parades get off to an early start, with the first due before daybreak when the Dingle Fife and Drum will lead St Patrick through the sleeping streets at 6am, bypassing the new snake pit at the Dingle Aquarium.

Sligo and Leitrim

Sligo parade organisers are confident that Countess Markievicz will be popping up on more than one float in the town, given that 1916 is the theme and her ancestral home in Lissadell is within striking distance.

The Sligo parade begins at noon at Mail Coach Road, with about 70 floats.

In Kiltyclogher, Co Leitrim, home of 1916 leader Seán Mac Diarmada, the parade organisers are holding a centenary-themed event, with participants in period costume.

Waterford

The theme of this year’s Waterford parade is “Three Sisters 2020: celebrating Waterford’s cultural diversity”, part of a joint initiative by Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford to become European Capital of Culture 2020.

Ennis

Patrick “Pakie” Wall (97), from Kilmihil in west Clare, will be grand marshal of the Ennis parade. He was selected following a nomination process for the oldest living Patrick in Clare. The parade begins at 11am.

Limerick

The theme of this year’s Limerick parade is “commemorate”, which seeks to promote Limerick’s legacy. Actor and playwright Myles Breen is this year’s grand marshal, while pop duo Jedward are also taking part. The parade starts at noon, with 80,000 people expected to watch .

Donegal

Up to 50 floats are set to take part in Co Donegal’s biggest parade in Letterkenny. The theme is “ Ireland 100 years on: the rhythm of our nation”.

The parade, which starts at 3pm, which be officially launched by Army Cmdt Donal McCafferty, who will read the Proclamation.

Belfast

The annual parade in Belfast will see carnival performers, dancers, musicians and a range of community groups leave City Hall at noon. Former X Factor winner Ben Haenow will headline the concert.