St Patrick’s Day may be over for another year, but its effects look set to last some time.
The first proper celebration of the national day went ahead last Thursday with at least ten parades and other activities across Carlow and Kilkenny.
Kilkenny hosted a six-day festival that drew to a close last night.
Festival Director Marian Flannery says record figures were on the streets, telling KCLR News that the main event, the parade led by Irish Paralympian Mary Fitzgerald drew a crowd of 40,000 – more than double what had been expected:
“We would normally have 15 to 20,000. So the Gardaí estimated somewhere in the region of 40,000”
— Mary FitzGerald (@_MaryFitzG) March 19, 2022
Overall it’s believed that up to 100,000 people stopped off in the city between Wednesday and Sunday.
— St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny (@stpatrickskk) March 17, 2022
And, while many travelled to these parts for festivities, deputations from both Carlow and Kilkenny county councils represented Ireland in New York.
Cathaoirleach of Carlow’s local authority, Councillor Fintan Phelan, was among them:
“This year was fantastic in that Carlow were right up the front of the parade, we were just behind the Kerry Association, that was because the centenery of the execution of Kevin Barry was in 2020 but there’s been no parade since then and the Carlow Association always march with a Kevin Barry banner so because of that we were up the front of the St Patrick’s Day Parade”.
— Fintan Phelan (@Fintan_Phelan) March 18, 2022
He added that they were also featured on US television:
“The story of Kevin Barry and the connection to Carlow was featured on US national television which was a nice respect to Kevin Barry but also it was fantastic to see the Carlow Association promoted right across the USA”.
Meanwhile, there’s been outrage in Carlow following the depiction of a recent local death in two parades up the country.
Peadar Doyle, who was aged in his late sixties, had been pronounced dead after emergency services were called to Hosey’s Post Office in January where he’d been brought by two others.
Videos and photos showing how people dressed up in parades in Belmullet in Co Mayo and Kilfenora in Co Clare has drawn wrath from many here, with calls for apologies following the disrespect after many were left appalled.