Athlone parade committee defends change of date

The organisers of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Athlone are hoping that this year’s event will bring increased revenue and business to the town in the short to medium term.

Despite making it public over six months ago, the group is responding to recent criticism over moving this year’s parade forward by a day to Saturday, March 16.

The change was made in response to feedback that as a regional town, the parade should be able to attract larger floats, groups and entertainment.

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Many attractions are advance-booked by other towns for the 17th and so local organisers opted to bring the parade forward to enhance the parade.

While acknowledging that not everyone would be happy with the change, Caoimhe O’Connell from the organising committee says it was done in consultation and with the support of the Chamber of Commerce.

She says that while it is taking place on a normal trading day, businesses will in fact benefit in the long term.

You can listen to Caoimhe’s full interview with MaryClaire Grealy here: