Council takes back seat on St Patrick's Day festivities

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

michael.scott@ulstergazette.co.uk

ARMAGH, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has stepped back from organising this year's St Patrick's Celebrations.

Instead, a new St Patrick's Day Celebration Committee run by members of the community will take charge of the event.

It comes off the back of last year's St Patrick's Day fell on a Sunday. A council-run event was organised for the Saturday, which angered many and prompted the West Armagh Consortium to act and organise their own parade to take place on the Sunday.

A spokesperson for the council said, “With the establishment of a new St Patrick’s Celebration Committee to take the lead on this year’s parade in Armagh City, the council has decided not to organise a procession, and will host a Family Fun day at the Shambles Yard on St. Patrick’s Day.

“The council has approved funding for the St Patrick’s Celebration Committee.”

The new group has invited all interested community groups, cultural groups,sporting clubs,businesses,and individuals to participate in this year's parade.

A spokesperson on behalf of the committee said their sole purpose is to organise a community-based St. Patrick's Day parade in the city on an annual basis.

In a statement they said, “The St. Patricks Day parade will take place on Tuesday, March 17 starting off at CBS car park at 2pm with an assembly time of 1pm (subject to availability connected to football final fixture, any change will be well publicised.)

“We would like to invite all interested parties to participate in our parade. Last years’ community parade was a great success and we would like to build upon that. The format of the parade is quite simply, all are welcome.

“We wish to make it an inclusive parade as possible to reflect the varied aspects of commerce, cultural, sporting, religious and ethnic diversity that makes up our population. Inclusion not exclusion is the order of the day

“Everyone is not only welcome to attend, but are encouraged, to carry banners, flags and any other colourful paraphernalia that depicts their role within our community. If you wish to put on a float, this too will be very welcomed.

“To facilitate the smooth running of the parade we would be grateful if you could let us know if you or your group are intending to participate. You can appreciate that such a parade necessitates advance planning and we would like to be able to draw up our parade plan as soon as possible.

“The parade will follow the same route as last year. It is included in the Home of St. Patrick Festival, a week-long event organised by council. Council will not be organising a St. Patrick's Day Parade this year, so our parade will be the only community-based parade on St. Patrick's Day this year in Armagh City.”

Anyone wishing to take part or get involved with the committee can be contacted via email stpatrickmarch387@gmail.com or by mobile 07759939314.

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