Blue skies, glorious sunshine and plenty of colour and excitement helped make the Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Roscrea one of the most successful ever. Green hats and flags were the order of the day as hundreds gathered to enjoy the festivities. While Sunday was not the traditional feast day of St Patrick the organising committee were certainly vindicated in their decision to host the parade at the weekend, which guaranteed the people of Roscrea and it’s surrounds much more bands and participating groups than would have been possible if the parade was run on it’s traditional day. Groups travelled from as far away as Kilkenny and Newbridge on Sunday providing some magical entertainment for those that gathered to enjoy a great family afternoon.
Irish dancers, floats, bands and local groups and organisations paraded from the Dublin Road up Castle Street onto Main Street passed the viewing stand and on to Grove Street amidst a wave of tremendous fun and excitement. Once again entries this year were of a very high standard, and the judges had a very difficult task indeed when asked to select the best overall prize.
Guest Of Honour at this year's parade was Dom Richard Purcell who also attended a pre parade reception at Damer Court Hotel. Dom Richard was joined on the Review Stand by local clergy, Deputy Noel Coonan, Deputy Mayor of North Tipperary Cllr. Phyll Bugler, Cllr. Michael Smith, Cllr. John Hogan, Cllr. Eddie Moran, Garda Superintendent Pat O’Connor, Sergeant John Byrne, Mr. John Guilfoyle, President of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Brian King, Roscrea Credit Union and Roscrea Chamber of Commerce, Mr. George Cunningham, Roscrea Heritage Society, Mr. Liam Shanahan, Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, committee members Mrs Marie Tooher (Secretary), Mr. Steve Crofton (Treasurer), Mr. John Lupton (PRO and M.C.), Mrs Mary Heffernan, Mrs Anne Ralph and Mr Adrian Hewson (Judges) and other committee members not on the Review Stand including Mr. Arthur Crawford (Chief Marshall), Mr. Brendan Keeshan, Mr. Sean Delaney and Ms. Susan Crawford.
While the crowds were gathering and the expectation building, Roscrea Comhaltas provided some wonderful entertainment from Market Square.
Congratulations to Mr Liam Shanahan and his committee who despite all the odds continue to provide the town with its greatest day of entertainment in the year. The committee would like to thank all who helped out in any way in making the Roscrea St. Patrick’s Day Parade a success. They would especially like to thank the following:- amer Court Hotel for the Pre-Parade reception, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Ros Cré for providing music at the Pre Parade reception and on the Stand before the Parade, the Marshals, Roscrea Community CE Scheme and their Supervisor Paddy Reidy, Michael Doherty, Gearoid Doherty, Daire Coughlan, the Garda Siochana, participants of floats and the Judges – Anne Ralph and Adrian Hewson. The Committee would also like to offer its sincere thanks to its patrons/sponsors including Dr McManus, DeFeu, O’Callaghan, F.D.C. Accountants, Lupton & Associates, Michael O’Donoghue – Sand & Gravel, North Tipperary County Council, Pauric Gilligan – Butcher, Pierce McCann Branch ONET, Roscrea Credit Union, Roscrea Vintners Association, Spencer Spillane, Terry Farrelly – Dental Practitioner, Thurles & District Vintage.
Best Overall – Chamber of Commerce Perpetual Trophy – and cash prize of €200. Thurles Vintage Club and 2nd cash prize went to Free Spirit MCC of €100
Best Sporting – R.C.T.L.C. Perpetual Trophy
Roscrea Sports Ability Club.
Best Local Community Group – Charlie Doyle Perpetual Cup presented by R.C.D.C.
Roscrea Youth Centre.
Irish Language – Tiobraid Arann ag Labhairt.
Best Schools eEntry – Bernie’s Super Valu Perpetual Trophy
Joan Murray School of Music
Best Cultural and Traditional – John O’Donnell Perpetual Shield
Scoil Eoin Naofa
Most Visiting Band – Michael Delahunty Perpetual Trophy.
Jacoré Kilkenny Samba Group.
Best Local Industrial and Commercial – Lupton & Associates Perpetual Trophy.
Carey Craft Butchers
Best Visiting, Out of Town Entry – Tesco Perpetual Trophy
Patrician Primary Brass Band – Newbridge.
Best entry from a Local Club or Organisation sponsored by Tidy Towns Committee.
Special Merit Awards – St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee
Pierse McCann Branch – Templemore.
Special Award – Shop Window Display:- Roscrea I.C.A.