More than 10,000 people lined the streets of the Clare County Capital on Thursday (17 March 2016) for the annual Ennis St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
97-year-old Patrick ‘Pakie’ Wall from Ballydineen, Kilmihil, was front and centre of this year’s Parade when he assumed the role of Grand Marshall. Patrick was selected following a nomination process through Clare County Council for the oldest living Patrick in Clare to join Mayor of Ennis Pat Daly in leading the Parade in a horse-drawn carriage, which was followed by approximately 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare.
Ahead of the Parade, a Certificate of Recognition was presented to Mr. Wall outside the offices of Áras Contae an Chláir. The presentation was made by Anna Whelan who is a 5th class pupil from Ballyea National School where Pakie attended from 1923 to 1931.
5th class from Ballyea N.S. went on to win ‘Best Parade Float/Group’ for their showcase of their All Ireland winning Irish Drama “1916-Eirigh amach na Casca”. The overall winners will receive a prize of €400 from Clare County Council which will be presented by the Mayor of Ennis, Cllr. Pat Daly. The four open draw winners of the €150 prizes are Clare Classic and Vintage Car Club, Polish Irish Association, Scoil Mhairead Ni Ghráda and Ennis Gymnastics Club.
Fiona Whelan of the Parade Organising Committee said, “We would like to thank all of the participants for making this year’s Parade one of the biggest ever while we want to acknowledge the thousands of people who turned out to celebrate our National Holiday.”
“The Organising Committee also wishes to thank Pakie Wall for being our Grand Marshall for the day, Patrick Bourke’s Menswear for dressing the Grand Marshall, Ger Sweeney for being the MC, the Abbey branch of Comhaltas and the Ennis Gospel Choir for their performances, and everybody who helped out in any way on the day,” added Ms. Whelan.