18 March 2015
By Bryan Smyth
The Cork St. Patrick’s Festival 2015 has come to a close, culminating
in the spectacular festival parade and award ceremony. Some 65,000
spectators took to the city’s streets to cheer on more than 60 groups
and 3000 parade participants who were taking part.
Best Overall Entry was awarded to the Middle Parish and Coal Quay
Historical Society, which was established in 2009 to research and
record the unique parish’s rich heritage, culture and tradition.
Affectionately known as the “shawlies”, they caused quite a stir on
the parade route today, with a pig’s head among their displayed wares.
The bright and colourful United Filipino Irish Association won Best
Dance Group, while Best Sports Group was awarded to Rebel Wheelers, a
volunteer organisation founded and run by parents for children with
The inimitable Cork Barrack Street Band won the Best Music Group, well
known as the “Barracka”. Some 120 participants from the band took part
in this year’s parade.
Best Commissioned Entry was awarded to Dowtcha Puppets, who based
their impressive creation on the story of the Celtic Tiger.
Grand Marshal George Hook (Newstalk presenter) led the parade on foot,
along with Lord Mayor Cllr Mary Shields. The theme of this year’s
parade was Cultural Concepts.
Commenting on the success of this year’s parade, the Lord Mayor said:
“This year’s Cork St Patrick’s parade was a real celebration of the
diversity of cultures who have made this city their home. It was a
spectacular display of colour, creativity and character on the streets
of Cork. It has been a fantastic festival, with the inimitable George
Hook as a very popular Grand Marshal, and it was great to see the city
come out in such style.”
The adjudicating panel for the awards consisted of: Con O’Donnell,
Community and Enterprise, Cork City Council; Jenny Monks, Head of
Textiles at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, and Yvonne Quilligan from Cork
Other festival highlights this year included the markets, the food
map, live performances throughout the weekend and the Paddy’s Night
Fleadh, which takes place in the Opera House at 8.00pm tonight. For
more information, see http://www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie/