Gorey’s parade is unforgettable
Crowds gathered in force for Gorey’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in two years, which was a show of solidarity and community spirit.
Bow Halpin and Micheal Dywer of the Paper Tuesdays podcast prepared the crowd as they waited for the show to begin, which would include plenty of smiling faces, pipers, bikes, vintage and drummers.
It was an experience for the eyes and the ears, but it also recognized what we have all been through as a locality over the past two years, as front line workers were asked by Grand Marshal Joe Dixon to walk at his side and were thanked in good measure. .
A total of 36 groups, clubs and businesses were represented with the big winner in the parade being Gorey pl and their ‘Stronger Together’ campaign which celebrated the connection to Ireland held by all in the international community.
Cllr Pip Breen said when the Ukrainian flag was handed to him on the bandstand, he took it all home.
“It was a great parade because the whole community was well represented, whether it was Gorey pl, vintage cars and tractors or St Aidan’s. The strongest message together summed it all up because you turn on the news and it brings to life the horrors of war in Ukraine. home. War is an ugly thing that has no big winners but a lot of losers. Millions of people have had their lives destroyed and it is going to hit us hard. many ways too, so it’s everywhere and unavoidable”.
First prize in vintage went to Matt Whelan, while first prize in business was Kia Ora Farm, first prize in sports was Gorey Hockey Club while first place for group prize went to Cranog na Leonai .
The Colm O’Reilly Preputial Trophy went to St Aidan’s Day Care and the Gorey 400 award went to Gorey Pipe Band.
Joe Dixon congratulated all participants and the organizing committee, but especially his wife Catriona who walked with him and his daughters.
“The celebration was definitely worth the wait and it was better than I could have imagined. Since being presented with the sash and asked to be Grand Marshal in 2020, I have waited 752 days but after the two years that we just had, it was all for and about the community that was recognized that day at all levels”.
He added that he was proud to be from Gorey every day, but that was the proudest he had ever been.
“It was a fantastic experience, especially at the time we were there, the response from the huge crowd was just fantastic and unlike anything I had ever seen before. The parade was all about unity, and we saw it with Gorey pl when they had a Ukrainian family walking with them. We have to recognize our own community but also the communities that now live with us because Gorey always has an open door. I like to see other nationalities come here because they make Gorey what it is.
“The front row and core works really enjoyed the parade and they got the recognition they deserved from the crowd.”