What a difference a year makes. In 2018, Nenagh’s St Patrick’s Day parade had to be moved due to bad weather.
Last Sunday, the weather gods smiled on one of the best parades since it was resurrected 10 years ago by Cllr Hughie McGrath.
Close to 50 local organisations, sporting clubs and community groups took part, with the parade being led by the traditional colour party from the local ONE.
For over the hour colourful floats and groups passed the viewing stand, with spectacular displays from Nenagh Classic Car Club who showed off everything from Minis to Mercs to Mustangs.
Fresh from their successful Dive Ireland show at the start of the month, Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club raised awareness of the threat single-use plastics pose to our environment with a boat rigged out in all types of plastic they took from local rivers and Lough Derg.
Their effort gained them the overal float award and a magnificent Tipperary Crystal vase.
There was a special welcome for Ormond Special Olympics with the World Games ongoing in Dubai, where Nenagh stalwart Mary Shields is helping out.
Among the trade floats, AES Recycling stood out with its recycling bin spreading the message, while Abbey Machinery showed off their array of farm equipment.
St Mary’s Convent Primary School marching band and majorettes brought a certain amount of razzmatazz to proceedings while Nenagh Dance Club had us dancing with the stars are they gracefully waltzed along the parade route.
In between, the Sighthound Social Club, which aims to show that breeds such as greyhounds and whippets can make good family pets, performed their own paw patrol.
The parade marked a sad occasion for IVETA, the Irish Vintage Engine and Tractor Association, following the sudden passing a couple of weeks back of Paddy Gill.
Paddy was known throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and was a founding member of the association. He was also involved in the parade.
The parade paused for a one minute tribute to him.
Parade chairman Cllr McGrath said afterwards that they were very pleased with the turn out and were delighted that the rain had stayed away until the parade finished.
“Community groups again stepped up,” he said. “We can only set the stage but they have to do the performance. It gives the committee a great lift to stay doing it.”
He singled out Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club for raising awareness about the environment with their winning float and paid his own tribute to Paddy Gill saying: “Paddy, along with Pat Gubbins, have always been part of the parade. He was the first man in on the day and the last man to leave.”
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