Longford Leader gallery: St Patrick's Day parade fever grips Longford

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It couldn't have gone any better.

That was the overriding sentiment to predominate following the staging of quite possibly Longford's most memorable St Patrick's Day parade at the weekend.

President of Longford Chamber of Commerce, Niamh Donlon, said the Chamber were happy with the success of the event and the large crowds who turned out.

She said: “We had almost seventy floats take part and gardaí estimates put the attendance at 4,000.

“More importantly, the day passed off without incident and businesses that were open were more than happy with the day's trading.”

Parade grand marshal, Pat Lynch was a hugely popular choice among those in attendance, added Ms Donlon.

“The reception for Pat said it all. He is very much the grand old man of Longford town. He has been in business for 60 years and continues to trade on Great Water Street and is very much a Longford institution.

“I think people generally were delighted to recognise Pat and it was a richly deserved acknowledge- ment.”

Another to come in for praise was MC Benny O'Brien.

“He kept proceedings moving nicely with his unique banter and professionalism.”

Highlights this year included the singing of Amhrán na bhFiann by the Mulligan sisters from Aughnacliffe.

Local men, Martin Meenaghan and Colm Harte, have featured in the parade for many years but this was their final time as both men retire from their respective roles.

“The annual parade is a great community event and relies on a high level of volunteerism and for that reason we were keen to recognise the efforts of Martin from Longford Fire Brigade and Colm who is principal at Killoe national school,” said Ms Donlon.
The Chamber President said that the parade was a huge collaborative effort and it depended greatly on the support and goodwill of the Gardaí, Civil Defence and Longford County Council.

Equally, she said the parade would not be possible without generous sponsorship as she singled out the event's new main sponsors, Mulleady Properties and long time sponsor, Longford Co Council.