Local heroes, Castlepollard Community College Leinster title holders, led by their joint captains Caoimhe McCormack and Emma Gilchrist, were the grand marshals at this year’s North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day parade.
More than 60 floats took part in the parade, which also featured the Mullingar Town Band. As the tricolour was unfurled, another local hero, Paddy McCabe, gave a rousing rendition of the national anthem Amhrán na bhFiann, accompanied by his son Brian on guitar.
Speaking after the event, Donie Cassidy, president of the organising committee, said that the parade is the annual kick-off to the tourism season in the north of the county. “We are very proud of our parade, which is organised under the stewardship of our chairperson Octavia Turlough,” he said.
He paid tribute to the hardworking committee of Sean Montgomery, Lorraine Scally, Ollie McCormack, Mick Comiskey, Ted Fagan and Martin Smyth “who have kept this parade going for the longest number of years”.
Mr Cassidy said that it costs “an enormous amount of money” to put on a parade and thanked Westmeath County Council, Mergon, North Midlands Credit Union and all who sponsor it every year.
He said it was wonderful to see so many people from the community and from all over enjoying themselves and getting the tourist season off to a flying start in north Westmeath.