Thousands attend Rathkeale’s St Patrick’s Day Parade which featured
Led by all-Ireland Niall McInerney Cup winners, Coláiste na Trócaire, Rathkeale’s St Patrick’s Day Parade attracted thousands to celebrate the day
Rathkeale’s Coláiste na Trócaire incredible hurlers, 2023 winners of the all-Ireland Niall McInerney Cup, led the parade with Saint Patrick. There were sulkies, leprechauns, vintage vehicles, motorbikes, fire engines, athletes, an international contingent and lots of beautiful people in green and white. Dignitaries included Councillor Stephen Keary, Councillor Bridie Collins, Councillor John O’Donoughue, Fr. Derek Leonard of St. Mary’s Church and Gordon Milne, chairperson of Rathkeale Together. Noel White, Rathkeale Champion, was master of ceremonies.
There were 17 prize winners this year. The weekend away in 4-star hotel for the Best Dressed Business Premises was awarded to Ciara’s. Downes Eurospar and Crock of Gold won the Best Float prizes. The Best Sports Float prizes went to Coláiste na Trócaire All-Ireland Hurling Champions, The Fat Leprechauns won the Best Walking Float. The Best Vistage Car was the 1963 fire engine entered by John O’Gorman and driven by Billy Sullivan. The Best Motorbike was entered by John Dunworth.
The Best Local Sports Floats prizes went to Rathkeale Boxing Club and Rathkeale AFC. The Best Out-of-Town Sports Floats prizes went to Croagh/Kilfinny and Knockaderry Camogie. The Most Entertaining Float was Sullivans. The Best Music was played by Jim’s Rambling House. The Best Dressed Baby was Ollie/Heidi Normyole. Other prize winners included the Butterfly Club, the motorbikes, and St. Kieran’s Heritage Association.
The parade was organised by Team Rathkeale, the Rathkeale Community Council, and Rathkeale Together with stewarding assistance from lots of volunteers and the Gardaí.
“We like to especially thank Valerie Foley, Tracey Bourke, Podge Doherty, Pat Neville and Noel White for making the parade such a success,” said Derek Downes, chairperson of Team Rathkeale.
Rathkeale, home to 1,400 Settled and Traveller people, is the friendly, active, town at the start of the Limerick Greenway. It is known for its colourful St. Patrick’s Day parade, often the largest outside Limerick City.