Around ten years ago Gerard Coady from Ballinonty, ”threw a few children in a trailer” and took part in the Killenaule Parade.
This year with his sister Treacy Leahy and their extended families they took on the major challenge of building a Disneyland Castle for the Littleton and Thurles parades. Relying on Gerard’s professional carpentry skills everyone got involved. Shortly before the parade the tower had to be shortened to fourteen feet in order to pass under the electricity wires. It was a hectic week with the final coat of paint barely dry before the 17th March deadline. Our photograph captures the excitement of the children as their castle-tower twins with that of St. Mary’s, Church of Ireland, built on 1786. Somehow small neighbouring villages working together can bring new life to rural areas.
Above all this was a children’s parade with hundreds present either as participants or supporters. The dedication, hard-work, fun and satisfaction of the two Ballinonty families is also true for the many other groups and businesses that made up the parade and made Littleton such a wonderful place to be on the day. Despite a shower of early morning hailstones the parade atmosphere was blessed with beautiful warm sunshine.
Lending off the Parade and driven in style by Brendan O’Dwyer in his monster “Munster limo” were Paddy and Josie Cooney who back in 1991 with their school of Irish Dancing sowed the seeds of the current parade. Our other special guests of honour were Margaret Kearney and Mary Hayes.
We sincerely thank the following sponsors, without whose financial contributions it would not be possible to run the parade; Paschalina Ely – Báile Beag Pre-School; A.I.B. Thurles; Thurles and District Vintage club; Two-Mile-Borris N.S.; Simon Cantwell, Graigue, Urlingford; Gleeson Quarries, Laffensbridge; Thurles Credit Union; Vincent Corcoran’s Pub, Two-Mile-Borris; O’Dwyer’s Transport, Ballymoreen; Moycarkey I.C.A.; Hennessey Taxi Littleton; Margaret Cantwell Hair Saloon Littleton; Clr. Billy Clancy Rossulty, Drombane; Moycakey-Borris GAA; Thurles Golf Club; Centenary Co-Op Littleton; St. Patrick’s Day committee Thurles; Ester Kirwan Village Store; D&J’s Shop; Premier Café & Takeaway; Clohessey’s Garage; Eirland Renewable Heating, Rathmanna; North Tipp. Co. Council; Joe Sullivian, Taxi, Ballybeg; St. Kevin’s F.C. Newhill, Sean Treacy Moycarkey Borris Pipe Band; Lisheen Mines.
Thanks also to those who helped with media coverage, Fr. George Bourke-mass bulletin; Gerry Bowe and Tipperary Star; Tipp F.M. and Mid-West Radios; Fr. Joe Tynan who sent greetings to many of our younger emigrants; Muintir Na Tire for use of hall; to O’Dwyer Transport for viewing stand; to FAS workers for bunting and village clean-up; to Garda Linda Lyons and Thurles Garda for security; to Charlotte Cashin for shamrock and flowers; to our judges Jim Finn, Evelyn Nevin and P.J. Harrington; to Pat Houlihan for public address equipment and master of ceremonies; to Séan Ryan for opening address & welcoming of dignitaries; to our tea ladies Joan McLoughney, Margaret Leahy, Sandra Purcell; to the many who helped with stewarding and the preparation of the viewing stand, Tom Haughney, Eddie Loughnane, Margaret Bannon, Anne Strappe, Billy Corcoran, Tom Heffernan; to Séan Ryan Moyglass who entertained us at our prize-giving night and to John Ryan Premier Takeaway who donated the finger food, to Ger Costello and JJ O’Sullivan Construction who donated the prizes for the Ballymoreen Conservation Fund Raffle; to the working committee who met weekly since early January, JJ O’Sullivan, Pat Houlihan, Sean Ryan, Mary Leahy and Matt Purcell.
According to a recent survey in The Irish Times, as to what might be the best place to live in Ireland, great neighbours, sense of community, ease to make friends, sense of local identity and belonging, the feel safe factor, where people come first, were among the qualities listed. As we wish each and everyone who helped in any way, success and happiness in the coming year our hope is that the parade has contributed in some small way towards making our local area one of the best places to live, We are encouraged by the news that some groups are already planning for the 2013 parade. Suggestions can be forwarded to any of the committee members.