Malahide is set to host its first St Patrick’s Day parade in more than 70 years as locals prepare to paint the town green in honour of our patron saint.
The tradition is being revived thanks to the efforts of Aine McCabe and Trish Murtagh, of Shop Malahide, with support from Fingal County Council (FCC).
The business owners joined forces in an effort to “breathe new life” and sales into the seaside village, and they say the response so far has been phenomenal.
Floats and displays will gather for a noon start on March 17, and the message is to dress for fun – and bring family and friends to the colourful event.
Aine, who owns McCabe’s pharmacy, told Dublin Gazette: “We had one parade in 1947 with the history society and the army, but there’s been nothing since.
“The response has been amazing, and we have 28 groups who have expressed an interest so far. The theme is Malahide past and present.
“We’ve given each of the primary schools a different era to dress up as, and their costumes have to be home-made.
“There’s nothing more boring than everyone wearing their uniform, so we’ve asked for plenty of noise and plenty of colour.”
FCC has allocated €6,000 to the Malahide parade to get it up and running for its first year.
Aine admitted: “Insurance is the biggest cost, so there’s no money left for ‘fluffy stuff’.
“We’ve asked local businesses to donate €50 each, and while it was a bit slow to start, the message is getting out there.”
Web designer Catherine Crean has offered to create a website with a link for online donations, and the Lions Club has proven invaluable in rounding up volunteers.
The Malahide parade is one of seven taking place across Fingal, with more than 15,000 participants and crowds of more than 100,000 people expected to line the streets.
The history of Balbriggan will be front and centre in their parade this year, with the theme being The Sacking of Balbriggan, which took place a hundred years ago.
The Swords parade begins at 11am, with Malahide at noon, Rush at 1pm, and Lusk at 1.30pm.
There are 2pm starts for Balbriggan and Blanchardstown, with Skerries at 3pm.