Daragh and Ava Boyhan, fancy dress winners, at the Tyrrellspass Day of Celebration on St Patrick’s Day.

Music, dancing and cakes at Tyrrellspass Celebration of St Patrick’s Day

Tyrrellspass St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee held a successful Celebration of St Patrick’s Day earlier this year. Although the weather was against us and we were forced to retreat to the shelter of Tyrrellspass GAA Pavilion, the committee were delighted to see the event go ahead. More than 350 people attended the event and were entertained by a variety of dance and music throughout the afternoon.

The event was opened by MC for the afternoon, Tommy Glennon, and the first entertainers were Kevin Lyster’s Emerald Lakes Academy of Irish Dance, who provided a lively routine.

Emerald Lake Academy dancers with Teddy.

A traditional music flavour was brought to the event by Ceoltóirí Daingean, accompanied Sean Daly, and they provided another lively set for people to dance to.

Ceoltóirí Daingean.

Encouraged by Rose from the Celtic Blondes, the kids were encouraged to take part and learn a few Irish dance steps, and they received Easter eggs for their efforts. Rose also received her Easter egg for her dancing!

The Rahugh Buskers, who made well received appearances at the Market Square in Mullingar during the Fleadh Cheoil last year, were joined on stage by Niall Moran and Friends, and they produced a fine set, combining traditional music with much loved ballads. The Buskers went on to entertain the crowd for almost 45 minutes and received a great ovation before departing.

Rahugh Buskers.

Chris Loughery, accompanied by his father, Kit, on accordion and Pauline Walsh on fiddle were next to entertain the crowd and they didn’t disappoint. A lively combination of trad and more contemporary songs were well received.

The Red Embers then provided some exotic dance, before Fr Ray Kelly of Tyrrellspass and Britain’s Got Talent fame took to the stage for a few rousing tunes. Local star Declan Feery brought the event to a close with another lively set of songs for all ages.

Aindriú O’Cearbhall from Athboy provided an exhibition of traditional basket weaving and Noel Kelly Honey, under the careful watch of Tracey Carroll, also had a great display of their wares.

Congrats to Laura Morgan, hairdresser, who won the Best Dressed Shop Window competition.

Laura Morgan, hairdresser, won the Best Dressed Shop Window.

Congrats also to Evelyn Henry and Jonathan Sheridan, who won the senior 5k runs, and to Gianluca Fornaciai and Ellie Scott, who won the U16 runs. Congrats to Ava and Daragh Boyhan, who were first and second in the fancy dress competition.

The parade committee want to thank a lot of people for their support and contributions to the event, and although somewhat curtailed form the original plans, the day was still a great success. Thanks to Jimmy Gavin, Esker Peat, for the loan of his truck, although we didn’t get to use it for a stage owing to the weather. To all who helped put up the flags and bunting around the Green to have the village looking so well, thanks. Thanks to all of the artists and performers who turned out, voluntarily, and made the event the success it was. Thanks to all who helped out and took part in the 5K fun run and An Garda Síochána, who were on hand throughout the event.

Thanks to Derek in the Esker Inn for providing the premises for the table quiz fundraiser. Thanks to all of the local businesses who donated prizes for the quiz night. Thanks to Declan Fletcher, a sound man, who never lets the committee down when coming to help with the quiz and sound systems.

Thanks to all of the committee members who stuck with it through the organising of the event. “We started the year strong with good numbers at our committee meeting, but the numbers declined somewhat over the following weeks,” said a spokesperson.

Thanks to Westmeath County Council Festival and Grants Scheme for their continued support. Thanks to Cllr Liam McDaniel for his assistance during the preparations, and again to the council for providing crowd control barriers. Special thanks to Fr Barry for allowing use of the church car park and to Tyrrellspass GAA Club for allowing use of their fine facilities.

Thanks to all who helped out in the kitchen – Patricia Martin, Jo Molloy, Yvonne Marshall and Margaret Daly, serving tea and coffee and refreshments to the crowd – anyone looking for cakes should look up Curristown Cup Cakes on Facebook, as their cup treats went down a treat with every one.

Curristown cakes.

Apologies if anyone has been left off the list above (it is not intentional), and for all who helped out in any way at all, please accept sincere thanks.

Plans are already in motion for the return of the Tyrrellspass St Patrick’s Day Parade in 2024. “We will need more support form the community and businesses to make the event as successful as it has been in the past. We will be holding an AGM in August or September 2023 to get ready for the parade in 2024. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.”