Donegal is more than ready to celebrate St Patrick’s Day


AS the nation gets ready to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we take a look at some of the events taking place around the county, beginning this weekend.

The Letterkenny St Patrick’s Day Parade, hosted by Letterkenny Chamber, always attracts many floats and visitors from the Cathedral town and its surrounding parishes.
The parade will have the traditional mix of sporting clubs, dance groups, youth groups, clubs and societies getting involved, making it a fun and lively parade for the thousands of spectators.
It will at 3pm on Tuesday making its way from the Station Roundabout via Port Road, through Main Street past the viewing platform at Market Square to finish in Old Town.
For spectators there is parking at Letterkenny Institute of Technology on Port Road and parking for disabled is available at An Grianan Theatre.
If you are feeling energised on Tuesday morning, why not join the Letterkenny Athletics Club inaugural St Patrick’s Day 5k family fun run/jog/walk along the parade route starting at 1.15pm. Registration for the 5k will take place at An Grianán Theatre from 11.30am.

Irish dancing
From 2.15pm there will be music and Irish Dancing from the viewing platform on the Market Square, so to secure a good vantage point we encourage everyone to come early.
There will be plenty of entertainment on throughout the town after the parade, including a traditional session in the Cathedral Quarter on Church Lane, the Parade After Party for young people at Donegal Youth Service; the Letterkenny CDP after parade party with food, dancing, music and an open mic. All of these events are alcohol free.
C.L.G. Naomh Adhamhnáin is hosting the grand opening of its newly-refurbished Clubhouse at O’Donnell Park with live music from 6 to 8pm.
The official opening on the night will be performed by club stalwart Mr Adrian Shields.

Frances and Declan Meehan all painted up in Gweedore on St Patrick's Day.

Frances and Declan Meehan all painted up in Gweedore on St Patrick’s Day.

The annual Leprechaun hunt on the Old Railway in Burtonport is a fun family walk/treasure hunt which will run from today (Friday) to St Patrick’s Day.
Families and individuals alike can hunt down the ‘wee fellows’ who will be hiding along the route – each of which will be holding a clue which will lead the hunter to a secret location.
The annual celebration of Irish Culture, now in its eleventh year, will take place in St Columba’s Community Centre from 12noon to 2pm on St Patrick’s day.

The St Patrick’s Walking Festival in Ardara begins tomorrow (Saturday) with walks organised for Sunday, as well.
Sunday’s annual parade promises to be the biggest parade in years with five bands from surrounding parishes will perform for its 30th anniversary.
Further down southwest, this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Glencolmcille will include numerous floats, led by Kilcar Pipe Band, and will assemble at the Folk Village for a 4pm start.
If you are heading out towards Derry over the weekend, check out An Grianán Hotel and Old Church Visitor Centre Building in Burt, which will be lit up green in the evenings.

Young flute players with the Annagry band.

Young flute players with the Annagry band.

Parading bands
Dungloe’s annual parading bands is a tradition which goes back 127 years and attracts bands and visitors from all over the county to the Rosses. The bands will begin at 3pm and keep and eye out for Maghery Band which is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
Meanwhile, across the bridge in Crolly the parish of Gaoth Dobhair’s annual parade will start at Bunbeg Crossroads at 2.30p.m. and proceed to Molloy’s Supermarket in Derrybeg. 
In the neighbouring parish of Cloughaneely, the St Patrick’s Day Parade will begin at 3.30pm, while Creeslough will also host a parade after 11am Mass.

Letterkenny based GP Dr James McDaid said that an ‘awful’ lot of people across Donegal were using benzodiazepines.


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