The preparations for St.Patrick’s Day in Clonmel are well advanced. The organising committee, Cumann Tobar Naomh Phadraig have already had a series of meetings with the Mayor and officials of Clonmel Borough Council together with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Clonmel Traders, the Town Twinning Committee, the Gardai and the Civil Defence, all of whom play a big part in the celebrations.
The committee has invited Bansha man John Lonergan, the former governor of Mountjoy prison, to be Honorary Grand Marshal of this year’s celebrations. John succeeds Alice Leahy, the founder of the homeless charity Trust, who was a great success last year.
The celebrations commence with the annual historical lecture in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on Tuesday, 15th March at 8pm. The lecture will be given by local historian Michael Ahearne on the topic of Newfoundland’s connections with South Tipperary. Admission to this lecture is free and all are welcome.
The Annual St. Patrick’s Eve Gala Dinnner and Dance takes place in Hotel Minella on Wednesday, 16th March at 8pm. Music is by Marty Daniels and his band, proceeded by a short musical interlude with Derek Ryan. In the light of the difficult economic situation the committee has decided to subsidise the event and ticket prices have been reduced by €10 to €35 each.
St. Patrick’s Day itself will start with the raising of the national and Papal flags at St. Patrick’s Well at 8am. The Well is the focal point of the celebrations, as it marks Clonmel’s unique links with St. Patrick and has been a part of our National and Christian heritage for over 1500 years.
At 11.30 am there will be a short parade from the Town Hall to noon Mass in St. Mary’s Church in Irishtown. This parade will be led by the local branch of the O.N.E. and Banna Chluain Meala and includes the Mayor and members of the Borough Council and their guests, and representatives of the various civic organisations, and is a traditional part of the celebrations in Clonmel.
At 3.30pm the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start in Irishtown and proceed via O’Connell Street, Gladstone Street, Market Street and Emmet Street to the reviewing stand outside the Town Hall on Parnell Street.
Already a number of groups have exprressed a wish to participate and those wishing to take part may do so by contacting the secretary P.J. Long at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no entry fee and all businesses and voluntary organisations are welcome to participate.
A number of other events are planned throughout the town and further detaills of these will be published in the coming weeks.