Thirty years on and interest in the Ballon St. Patrick’s Day Parade shows little sign of abating. The 29th 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-five 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, Willie Quinlan and Charlie Murphy along with various members of the organising committee. Martin Barry acted as MC.

The parade was led through the village by members of ONE and St. Patrick (AKA John Kelly).

Prize Winners
Best Walking Group - Burren Rangers
Most Original - Cuchulainn Rounders
Most Topical - KHA
Best Commercial - Joe O'Toole and Sons, Tullow
Best Community Effort - Ballon karate Club
Most Amusing - Siopa Glas - Mrs Brown's Boys
Oldest Vehicle - 1904 Steam Engine
Best New Entry - PJL Agri and Industrial Parts Supplies
Michael McAssey
Kavanaghs - Garry Ryan
Zerafas Top Shop
Jimmys Take Away
Nolan Tyres
Tom Donoghue for use of Trailer
Cheetah Property Maintenance who sponsored the trophies
Michael Martin for photography
Eamon Brennan, Kilbride for the music.
Ballon G.F.C who sponsored one of their Annual tickets for the overall prize-winners – Cuchullain Rounders Club
Jimmy and Valerie O’Toole for supplying the electricity for the public address and music on stage.
Viewing Platform
Fr. Howard PP
Rev. Lester Scott
Cllr. John Murphy
Cllr. Willie Quinn
Cllr. Charlie Murphy
Marty Barry


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