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Mercy Sister is St Patrick's Day Grand Marshall

5 May 2017

Southern

Mercy Sister is St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshall

It was a great honour for me to be invited to be Grand Marshall in Kinsale for St Patrick's Day 2017. The invitation was in recognition of my contribution to second-level education in Kinsale. When asked to take on the role I was reluctant at first but with a lot of encouragement I said "yes". At that stage I presumed my role would be to lead the St Patrick's Day parade. Imagine my surprise when I got my itinerary and learned that it would be a four day event. Kinsale never does anything by half measure! 

Kinsale is twinned with Newport, Rhode Island and about 40 guests, mainly firefighters, from Newport were visiting Kinsale to celebrate St Patrick's Day. On March 15th there was a reception for our visitors during which I was presented with the sash "Grand Marshall 2017".

On March 16th the Maritime Parade took place. It was a fabulous sight to behold from the top of the Harbour Master's office. This was followed by a fantastic fireworks display.

On St Patrick's Day we all assembled at St. John the Baptist Church for mid-day Mass. I took my place in the front with some of the firefighters from Newport. Shamrock was blessed and presented to the firefighters.

The next big event of the day was the parade. As Grand Marshall I was driven in a vintage car leading the parade and then I took my place on the viewing stand. There were over 50 creative, colourful floats and they were enjoyed by all. Following the parade all prize winners were invited to the Trident Hotel where I presented the prizes.

On Saturday night a farewell celebratory dinner was held in the White House Hotel to conclude the celebrations.

The St Patrick's Day celebrations were an outstanding success in Kinsale. This is due to the hard work of the organising committee and I want to say congratulations and a very sincere thank - you to its members.

I was apprehensive when I was invited to take on the role of Grand Marshall but it was actually an extremely positive and encouraging experience. As I progressed through the events I began to enjoy the role. I now carry with me many happy memories of St Patrick's Day 2017.

Mary Donovan rsm                                 
Southern Province

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