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Rain-driven downbeat mood lifted once parade started in Mullingar.

Story by Eilis Ryan

Friday, 17th March, 2017 9:25pm

Rain-driven downbeat mood lifted once parade started in Mullingar.

There was an air of despondency about the empty streets of Mullingar as the rain teemed down on the afternoon of the St Patrick's Day parade.

See pictures from the parade by clicking                     here  and     here


However, as soon as the parade started, the town lit up and there was great excitement as the procession of clubs, bands, organisations and businesses marched past.
The sheer good will of the parade participants were what turned what could have been "a washout" - in every sense - into something resembling the festival it could have been if the rain had stayed away.
And, it should be noted, that despite the rain, by the time the parade got going, the streets were lined with crowds of people.
Commentator Marty Mulligan explained to those who attended that the parade had had to be reduced because of the weather.
Boxing clubs, karate clubs, the GAA, Mullingar Town Band, the IUNVA and the Arts Centre all had great turnouts.
Mullingar Town Band leader, Kim Magee, admitted it was tough on the young musicians who had done serious preparation for the parade.
Their efforts were, however, rewarded with a great reaction from the crowds along the streets.
Westmeath's oldest Junior Soccer Club - Mullingar Town AFC - was also represented.
The youngsters from Castlepollard Community College had a great float, as did the Shandonagh Lip Synch promoters, St Brigid's School in Mullingar.
Alo Gowran's had The Simpsons along, Mullingar Agricultural Show brought livestock along, and Mullingar Classic and Vintage Club brought some classic and vintage along on their float - as well as some great cars.
Other old cars included one from The Greville Arms and one from Walsh's Jewellers.
The fire brigade brought out all its "firepower", and also participating was the Sub Aqua Club, while on active duty were organisations such as An Garda Siochána, Civil Defence and the Order of Malta.

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