Shortest parade fails to start

 

CORK:THE WORLD'S shortest St Patrick's Day parade, in Dripsey, Co Cork, which stretched just 25 yards from one pub to another, failed to go ahead this year because of the closure of one of the bars.

This meant there was was nowhere to accommodate the 1,000 or more people who flocked to the tiny town for the event.

The first parade, in 1999, was a huge success. That night, everybody gathered eagerly in the Weigh Inn and the Lee Valley Inn to await RTÉ's Six One News with its round-up of the day's parades.

Organisers said locals felt like Dripsey had won the World Cup when the announcer said: "And now to Dripsey, where what is probably the shortest St Patrick's Day parade in the world took place today."

Dripsey local Donal O'Riordan, who first came up with the idea of holding a St Patrick's Day parade in the town, said the closure of the pub and the subsequent cancellation of the parade was a sad sign of the times for rural Ireland.

"It is sad really. . . If the weather gets bad, which it generally does on Patrick's Day, people need to be able to go indoors."

In previous years, the Guinness Book of World Recordshad validated Dripsey's claim to being the world's shortest St Patrick's Day parade.

OLIVIA KELLEHER