After a week of of to-ing and fro-ing, announcements and meetings, the Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day parade will go ahead after all.
The organizing committee announced on Wednesday that the parade wouldn’t be going ahead after weeks of intense efforts failed to raise the required funds.
A delegation were asked to meet members and officials of Laois County Council on Friday but even after that the soundings were that the parade wouldn’t go ahead this year.
But huge support then started to come in, leading to the Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day committee releasing a statement at lunchtime today saying that the parade will now go ahead.
The statement in full is:
“On Wednesday 21st February, we as a committee issued a press release to all our local media outlets, informing them that this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade would not be going ahead, as funds were simply not there to pay for insurance, let alone any parade. As a committee, it was one of the toughest decisions we had ever made.
Following on from the press release, we were astounded by the wave of support we have and are still receiving from our community and the local business’ in our town. We now know the true demand that exists for Portlaoise’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Over just two days the support has changed from anger and derision to support and willingness to help.
On Friday 23rd February, at 8am some members of our committee met with Laois County Council and members of the local business community for what was a very positive meeting and we would like to thank them, and the two local Councillors, Catherine Fitzgerald and Noel Tuohy who facilitated the meeting.
Once that meeting finished, people started to make contact with offers of support and much needed contributions. This has continued all day and as of 10pm Friday night the committee felt it was within reaching distance of funding a parade.
With the help of some of very generous business people in our town, we are delighted to inform you that this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will now be taking place.
In order to make this a success we need to build on the support that was shown for the parade. A lot of work goes into putting a parade together but many hands make light work.
We are calling for Help, Volunteers, and most importantly Participants.
We would like to thank in particular for their support Laois County Council, Traders of Downtown Portlaoise, and the Portlaoise Vintners for their most generous financial support.
We would also like to say a special word of thanks to Monsignor John Byrne, and all the staff of the Parish Centre for their support.
If you would like to take part, volunteer, or support us in any way please contact any members of the committee or send a message to our Facebook page or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally on behalf of the Committee we hope you can all help us make this the best parade ever; one which our town truly deserves.”