PARADE A HIT ONCE AGAIN
Thirty-one years on and interest in the Ballon St. Patrick’s Day Parade shows little sign of abating. The 30th renewal of the event, (it was called off in 2001 as a prevention against the spread of Foot and Mouth disease) held on the national Feast Day, saw large crowds line both sides of the route from The Garage Cross to Ballykealey Lane to be entertained by the various floats, walking groups or vintage cars and machinery.
The parade started at the Land League Gates and took thirty minutes to pass the reviewing stand in the centre of the village. On the platform were Very Rev. Brendan Howard PP, Rev Lester Scott, and Cllrs. John Murphy and Charlie Murphy along with various members of the organising committee. Martin Barry acted as MC.
The parade was led through the village by piper Pat Lalor, members of ONE and St. Patrick (AKA John Kelly). Prizewinners in the various sections were Burren Rangers (Best Walking Group), Trish Murphy -Get Rid of Irish Water (most original); Billy Keegan- Bring Back Sugar Beet (most topical); Hegarty’s Garage, Slaneyquarter (best commercial); Tullow Vintage Group (best community effort); Mark Doran- road flooded (most amusing) and Men’s Shed, Tullow (best new entry). The Carlow Stone Perpetual Trophy for the overall winner went to Burren Celtic GFC.
Apart for the afore mentioned entries there was a vast selection of vintage cars, motorbikes and tractors to see as well as the steam engines, which were provided as usual by the Glynn Family and music was provided by Eamon Brennan.
It was a great evening’s entertainment and an effort that the community should be very proud of.