Castlepollard Community College Leinster title holders, led by joint captains Emma Gilchrist and Caoimhe McCormack were the grand marshals at this year’s North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day parade.

North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day parade opens local tourist season

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.

Emma Gilchreest and Caoimhe McCormack from Castlepollard Community College raised the flag at the start of the parade.
Josh, Jade and Isabel Dekin in Castlepollard.
Chris, Zoe, Teresa, Hannah and Saorise Snow at the parade.
Charlie and Shane Hyland from Rochfortbridge.
Helen Coyle, William Duke and Ava Donovan, Castlepollard, on Friday.
Donie Cassidy was the master of ceremonies for the parade.
Deputy Damien English, Cllr Frank McDermott Cllr Paddy Hill and Deputy Robert Troy at the parade in Castlepollard.
Margaret Caffery and Sinead Hubble were the judges on Friday.
The American Car, Truck and Bike Show float
Linda and Marian Davis were in the crowd for the parade.
The members of Castlepollard Hurling and Camogie Club.
Alanah and Ellen Worrell from Inspiration Taekwon-Do put on a display.
The representatives of Lough Lene Gaels Camogie Club.
Some of the pupils from the Rising Stars Performing Arts Acadamey,
The students and staff from St Michael's NS.
The Ballycomoyle GAA Club took part in the parade
Frank Guckian played the bagpipes in Castlepollard.
The Ringtown Hurling and Camogie Club players and mentors
Oliver Flanagan on his 1960 tractor.