Report on Mallow St Patrick’s Day ‘Gathering’ Parade

20th March 2013
By Noel O’Connor (Mayor of Mallow)

There was a great atmosphere of fun and enjoyment in Mallow on the
afternoon of Saint Patricks Day. At lunch time Mayor Mallow, Cllr. Noel O
Connor, hosted a Gathering event to celebrate those returning to Mallow for
the year of the ‘Gathering’. Special guest of honour at this event was
Professor Pat Cronin, from Tennessee. Pat, aged 72 years only first got to
meet his relatives in Mallow, the O Sullivans in Crossfield, Ballyclough,
Mallow in the last couple of years. At this reception Mayor O Connor told
his fellow councillors and invited guests that it was wonderful to pay
tribute to all sons and daughters of Mallow who would be returning to
Mallow on this, the year of the ‘Gathering’, and to do so on this our
National Day, Saint Patrick’s in this the Town Hall the seat of Mallow’s
local government.

Patrick Cronin paid tribute to Josephine O Sullivan, who first contacted
him regarding his Mallow heritage some two years previously. Up to this Pat
had not visited Ireland, let alone Mallow. Since then he has come to know
Mallow the place of his grandfathers home. He said it was hard for him not
to cry here in the Town Hall as he recalls the birth place of his
ancestors. ” I am deeply appreciative of the Reception here in Mallow Town
Hall and I look forward to sharing a plce on the Reviewing Stand of the
Parade with your Mayor and the Town Dignitaries.

By 2 pm on saint Patric’s Day Mallow was buzzing. Groups participating in
the Parade were busy lining up for the Parade on the Town Park Road.Parents
were shuffling their children dressed in all sorts of costume towards the
Park Road. All this time, right up to the start of the Parade young
musicins from the Cuisle Avondhu Group were entertaining those along the
Main Street, Davis Street, with a wonderful selection of Jigs Reel Slides
and Hornpipes.

At 2.30 pm the Reviewing Platform had filled out with Mayor O Connor, his
fellow Councillors, The President of Mallow Chamber of Commerce, Mary
Kelly, and a whole host of other town dignatories.So, the scene was set for
a wonderful Parade and even the weather smiled down on the town and the sun
rose up out of the clouds. First past the Reviewing Platform was the Colour
Party from the Reserved Defence forces. Then followed the Thomas Davis Pipe
Band. In a resplendent 1900’s open-topped vintage car, driven by it’s owner
Jim Bohan, along came the Grand Marshall for the Parade David O Leary. No
stranger to Saint Patrick’s Day Parades in Mallow as he led the Parade for
many years as a Commandant of the Reserved Defence Forces. there was a
large cheer from the townspeople of Mallow and it’s hinterland.

And so for nearly an hour after this the towns streets were brightened up
with the wonderful floats and groups of young people and old who took part
in the Parade.

Speaking, after the Parade, the Mayor of Mallow, Cllr. Noel O Connor said,
” I am so delighted that Mallow’s Streets were returned to the people of
Mallow for Saint Patrick’s Day. It was a huge Community Day for the people
of the town and it’s hinterland. Just under 7000 people stood along Davis
Street from the West End Corner to the Clockhouse. Along by the Reviewing
Platform the crowd was eught rows deep behind the Barriers. Adding to the
fun of the event was the commentary of the MC for the day Michael O
Donovan, whose witty comments and colourful descriptions of the groups
passing the Platform were most entertaining. It was great for me as Mayor
to share the Reviewing Platform with my fellow councillors, Minister
Sherlock, Deputy Barry, Chamber President Mary Kelly, Canon Casey and rev.
Eithne Lynch , Superintendent Pat Mc Carthy, John Mc Donald Chairman of MDP
and Tadhg Curtis Chairman of North Cork Enterprise Board. From my point of
view as Mayor of Mallow I was proud of the Parade. The display of the
Community Effort in coming out and presenting an image of a vibrant town,
as displayed by the groups participating, is the kind of image that would
be the envy of any other town. I was delighted that Pat Cronin represented
the Diaspora on this occasion. His sincerity, in his love of the town of
his forefathers, is touching and his presence on the Reviewing Platform
enhanced the Parade. Let me pay special tribute to The Gardai and the Civil
Defence who did so well to ensure the orderly running of the Parade.
Finally, I was delighted to present three bouquets to Treasurer, Hanna
Sheehan, Secretary Mary O Brien and Assistant Secretary Rose Kelleher for
the marvellous work they did in ensuring an awesome Parade once again in
Mallow for Saint Patrick’s Day.


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