The Wailing Wall: A Great Day, In A Great Town, With Great People

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Johnnie Wall watching Sean Lyons knocking out a song on stage before the parade began on Tuesday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Johnnie Wall, who helped organise the parade on Tuesday, reflects on a wonderful St Patrick’s Day in Tralee…

Tralee was buzzing on March 17, the centrepiece of our celebrations was the St Patrick’s Day Parade and the surprisingly good weather (the luck of the Irish no doubt) added to the great atmosphere of the festivities.

The participation of the many schools, clubs, social, community and voluntary groups in the parade really showed the diverse spirit and ethnic make up of our town.

I, in particular, loved the floats and the manner in which they are decorated.

It takes a lot of hard work and imagination to get the standard that was achieved on the day.

Great credit to the Gleneagle Concert Band, Newcastle West & District Pipe Band, the Irish Prison Services  Pipe Band and our own Tralee Pipes and Drums and the many other musical interludes added to a great community event and made a sunny day that much brighter.

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Runners in the Tralee marathon and half-marathon taking part in the parade today. Photo by Dermot Crean

Our many schools, societies contributed greatly  with our sports clubs brightening proceedings with their colours, Blues, Greens, Reds, Black and Amber, indeed  all the colours of the rainbow were worn with pride by the young members of each club.

The Redeemed Church Group was wonderful showing the great sense of bond and fellowship in the flock.

Great faith oozes from the congregation in the way they dance and sing the praises of the lord.

They were followed a little later by a very funny kind of ‘religious sister act’  promoting a show that’s being staged by Tralee Musical Society. From this preview the show itself promises to be a non stop ‘riot’ of colour, song and dance, great credit due to all.

The Filipino Community gave a beautiful display of a traditional dance from one of their southern islands, exceptionally vibrant colour with total commitment and I, for one and I know that I was not alone, felt enchanted by their performance.

The parade ended with the Stacks’ supporters togged out in their traditional colours and chanting the ‘Rockies Dirge’ which must put the frighteners into any team that they play – overall a great day in a great town with great people.

Lest we forget the parade was supported by the participation of many ‘Services’, including local members of the Reserve Defence Forces, who also provided the Colour Party, presenting our national flag to the people of the town with the respect which it deserves.

The Fire Service and the Red Cross also marched, and lest we forget all of these organisations are comprised of members who are volunteers, committed to  serving ‘us’.

All of those participating took pride in being ‘Irish’ and celebrating our National Day and I am thrilled to state that that sense of ‘Irishness’ is no longer confined to a stereotypical view of what we are, but now encompasses a mirror image of our current society, diverse, multi-cultural and above all, as we saw from the level of participation in the parade, forward looking, with a commitment to doing things together.

P.S. A big, big thank you to  the dynamic duo Sean Lyons and Micheal O’Donnell, who do all the talking on the day and of course our own MicheaL Gaffney who knows how to entertain a crowd and  to the committee, the stewards and the Gardaí, and all those who helped in any way.

Without your voluntary support, the parade would not and could not happen.

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