THE weather gods smiled on Nenagh’s St Patrick’s day parade as the rain stayed away just long enough for the town to mark the festivities.
With just 20 minutes to go the town was shrouded in black clouds with hailstones taking the proverbial lumps out of the road. But, miraculously they disappeared as MC Luke Murtagh opened proceedings by calling on Mayor Virginia O’Dowd, who wished everybody, especially those who had travelled a “Cead Mile Failte” to Nenagh for the parade.
Up to 3,500 people lined the streets to see a colour party from the FCA lead the parade down Summerhill, Pearse Street and Kenyon Street.
There was a special welcome for Delbarton High School from Morristown, New Jersey, who played Nenagh Ormond RFC the previous night in a friendly match, with the honours going to the visitors. Good wishes were sent to former Nenagh Ormond player Donnacha Ryan, who was taking the field for Ireland against England at Twickenham.
The school which is twinned with Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, were in Nenagh as part of Cllr Seamus Morris’s sports tourism initiative.
For over two hours, the streets of Nenagh were awash with colour, as adults, children and even dogs wore the Green in all its 40 shades to celebrate St Patrick.
The party atmosphere was added to by staff at Supermacs who handed out tasty samples of pizzas to those watching the parade. And further up Pearse Street, Lulus was doing the proverbial roaring trade in milkshakes.
Over 50 commercial, sporting and voluntary organisations took part in the parade, with The Thatched Cottage in Ballycommon having one of the more elaborate floats. Led by two drays pulling a coach, their float featured traditional musicians and a turf fire. Let’s hope the bureaucrats in Brussels weren’t watching to see how much turf was being burned.