After a lot of controversy, the St Patrick’s Day parade in Portlaoise went ahead last month.
Organisers had originally called off the event citing a lack of funding.
The organizing committee announced in February that the parade wouldn’t be going ahead after weeks of intense efforts failed to raise the required funds.
A delegation met members and officials of Laois County Council 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 saying that the parade would go ahead.
And it was another roaring success with hundreds lining the streets, braving the bitter cold to watch this year’s version.
Members of St Francis school were this year’s Grand Marshals and they led the way brilliantly – driven in a convertible mercedes by school principal Malachy McNulty, a man well used to leading the way for The Town, having served as manager of the Portlaoise senior footballer for the last couple of seasons.
Ballyfin GAA Club, Portlaoise Soccer Club and Portlaoise Panthers Basketball Club were all part of the parade too as well as Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, the Lawless and Lynam Schools of Irish Dancing, Portlaoise Tidy Towns, Laochra Laoise, the Dunamaise Arts Centre and members of the Lithuanian and Nigerian communities in Portlaoise.
Those groups were among the winners on Monday night in the Killeshin Hotel.
Our photographer went along on the night and snapped the best of the action: