23 March 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Once again Main Street, Carrickmacross was filled with thousands eager to enjoy the Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Over 60 colourful groups and organisations took part in the parade this year which was blessed with a crisp, dry day!
The Carrickmacross branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoirí warmed the crowd up prior to the parade by playing a selection of traditional tunes which are always guaranteed to entertain.
True to tradition, the parade was lead by the 3rd Monaghan C.B.S.I., who marched in impressive formation through the town, followed by the Stedfast Brass Band, who had also played beautifully earlier at the flag raising that morning at the Courthouse.
The local councillors joined dignitaries on the reviewing stand, while Mr. David O’Rourke did a magnificent job as M.C. announcing all the participants as they passed by.
As ever, the local primary schools made huge efforts on the day, arriving in colourful costumes with St. Joseph’s Boys National School depicting “Noah’s Arc” and Scoil Rois re-enacting the story of “Queen Maeve and the legend of the cattle raid of Cooley”.
Organisers were delighted to have the maSamba Samba group to brighten up celebrations with their lively music, while the occupants of the Festival Committee Group’s float regaled crowds with live music and singing!
Some of the parade’s walking groups included the 6th Monaghan Scouts Group from Killanny/Inniskeen, Daisy Chain Childcare, the Aces Athletic Club, the Town Twinning Association and Margaret McGahon and her dog Bran, who proudly represented the Irish Guide Dogs Association.
The Vintage Section is a big part of the parade each year and there were magnificent displays from Lisdoonan, Carrickmacross and Muff Vintage Clubs.
Other vintage vehicles included those belonging to J.J. Cunningham, Thomas Martin, Bernard Maguire, Justin McKitterick and Brian Oliver.
Commercial Floats included the new nightclub “Vanity”, O’Reilly Concrete, JB Garden Ornaments, Devlin Couriers, Toal Auctioneers, McConnon’s Recovery, Kearney School of Motoring, Style Robes, T&L Paints, “Something Old, Something New,” SuperValu and many more.
The crowds were also delighted to hear An Lochrann Linn Band, the Aughnamullen East Pipe Band, Lisnagrieve Band, St. Mary’s Brass Band, Kingscourt, and the Corduff Pipers. As always all the bands provided great entertainment and colour to the parade.
The Fiddler’s Elbow Best Band Perpetual Cup was awarded to the Corduff Pipe Band while An Lochrann Linn Band, Carrickmacross were awarded runner-up receiving a perpetual plaque. Thanks to Seamus McEnaney, The Fiddler’s Elbow and Vanity Night Club for sponsoring the Best Band Awards.
The Cloughvalley Stores Best Float Perpetual Cup went to the Inniskeen Parade Committee and runner up prize went to the Friends and Families of the Mentally Handicapped dressed as ‘The Blues Brothers’. They received the perpetual plaque. Thank you to Michael Quinn, Cloughvalley Stores for sponsoring the Best Float Awards.
Well done to all the bands and organisations that participated, their contribution to the parade was appreciated by all. Organisers look forward to seeing you all back again in Carrickmacross in 2012.
Seachtain na Gaeilge, Fuinneog Álainn — Best Shop Window was won by Gifts n’ Things, second place went to the Steadfast Charity Shop with third place going to Markey’s. Well done to all the shops that participated. The standard was exceptional as ever.
The St. Patrick’s Day Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the parade, the Garda Síochána, the Town Council staff, David O’Rourke, Seamus McEnaney, Michael Quinn and everyone that came to watch the parade.
Mayor of Carrickmacross PJ O’Hanlon was the keynote speaker at last Thursday’s event. After welcoming everyone to what proved to be an enjoyable day, he thanked Town Manager Paul Clifford, Town Clerk Frances Matthews and her staff, Patsy McKenna and the council’s outdoor staff, and David O’Rourke, whom he complimented as being a very competent MC.
Last but not least, the Mayor expressed his gratitude to all those who took part in the parade, making it a spectacular and colourful occasion. He also reserved a special acknowledgement for community groups and the volunteers who run them, hailing them as the unsung heroes of their localities.
Then the Carrickmacross Town Council Chairperson took it upon himself to deal with the contentious issue of the moment. He apologised to the people of the town and South Monaghan for any upheaval or inconvenience they had suffered or endured over the course of the last couple of years, because of the water and sewerage works.
He assured those gathered that all works would be completed within six months and that the roads would soon be back to a very high standard. The Mayor also reiterated the importance of the ongoing works, as being integral to the infrastructure of the town and its future development.
He also re-affirmed the commitment of the local authority to attracting inward investment. The local representative concluded by wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
At the end of his speech, MC David O’Rourke told the crowd they had heard from the Mayor that Carrickmacross would be a pothole-free zone in six months time. This jovial banter raised a cheer from spectators around the reviewing stand.

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