March 19, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Galway 2007 (Part 2)

Singing in the rain - Galway camogie players are well used to getting wet.

God, what weather. I really don't know how parents and teachers kept all the little kiddies amused long enough to get them to march through the city, rather than trudge off home. Like the last couple of years, there's a couple of hours of just hanging around before the folks at the end of the parade started moving. Despite the rotten weather, once things got going, spirits rose, and all of the performers and marchers made up in energy and enthusiasm what the climate didn't supply.

There was one notable exception. A couple of weeks ago, the Galway Advertiser and Galway First had reported a statement from Councillor Paidraig Connelly (Fine Gael) calling on the City Council to withdraw an invitation to a Republican marching band from Dunloy. The Galway Independent reported that:

PDs Cllr Terry O'Flaherty said she would walk off the reviewing stand if the band arrived in paramilitary paraphernalia.

I'm don't know if she got up (the reviewing stand was probably the only dry spot in the city) but I'd say she wasn't happy. The band turned up in full paramilitary regalia (well, apart from balaclavas), complete with a drum emblazoned with an AK-47 and an Armalite (see below). I'm sure the irony was lost on them, but the contrast between the [decidedly non-political] various cultural groups, schools and nationalities, all smiling, dancing and singing their way through the streets, and the grim-faced, faux-military display from the Dunloy band could not have greater. On the one day when Irishness itself was celebrated, they seemed to be from a very foreign country indeed. Maybe next year, the parade can be kept politics free.

Didn't get a chance to load up the gallery of pictures from the Galway St. Patrick's Day parade until tonight - thanks to my NTL Broadband service disappearing for most of the weekend.

Out of step - drummer from the Dunloy marching band.

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Posted by Monasette at March 19, 2007 10:01 PM

ya im having problems with broadband too. very annoying! We were out and about for the parade but we left after awhile as we were soaked to the skin. I did manage to take some photos but it was good to see yours. We were up shop street and by the time some of them got to us there looked frozen but they marched on regardless...

Posted by: Michelle at March 20, 2007 05:48 PM

Maybe it was the bad weather that put a frown on the faces of the lads from Dunloy.

Posted by: Ray Smyth at March 20, 2007 10:58 PM

well, we got up 4am and drove all the way to galway and got completly soaked to the skin because we wernt allowed to wear our raincoats because someone thought they were 'parimilitary', so thats why werent bouncing around with joy lol.
But regardless of the rubbish the press wrote all week about us we had a fantastic time and the people of Galway were brilliant to us. I had a great weekend.

Posted by: paul at March 21, 2007 11:35 PM