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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ST. PATRICK, ST. PATRICK, ST. PATRICK

Yes, you are seeing treble but in Ardara, County Donegal on Sunday the 18th of March this year, St. Patrick’s Weekend, you will see a lot more than three St. Patricks. Incidentally, the date of the Ardara parade is the 18th as Ardara’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always held on the first Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day so as not to clash with other local parades.

Ardara, County Donegal
The heritage town of Ardara is a busy little town in south Donegal, surrounded by beautiful scenery.  The place will be buzzing on St. Patrick's weekend with record breaking attempt which coincides with the Ardara Walking Festival.  

Ardara is surrounded by beautiful scenery
We spoke with Gerard Slowey of the Ardara Traders Association who told me that Ardara is attempting the first world record of the largest number of St. Patrick’s gathered in one place at the one time. 

The late Hugh Diver as St. Patrick
(photograph by Jason McGarrigle)
The record attempt is to make the day more craic for those attending but more importantly it is in memory of a local man, Hugh Diver who until his untimely death, lead the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Ardara for many years. Hugh would dress as St. Patrick ~ with his own long white beard, was an important fixture of the Ardara St. Patrick’s Day Parade and last year, the first following his death, he was sorely missed. So this year the people of Ardara commemorate his memory by having a record breaking number of St. Patrick’s in their parade.

St. Patrick's costume
Together with male St. Patrick's, female and child St. Patrick's are also welcome and the costume plus your entry fee is €15.  You can of course use your own St. Patrick’s Day costume if you already have one and just pay the €4 entrance fee. The costumes are available in lots of the shops in the town and all those entering the record attempt should gather at St. Shanaghan’s around 2pm to register your name (ask for directions to St. Shanaghan’s anywhere in the town).

Alternatively, you can register and book your St. Patrick’s outfit and place early by telephoning either of the following:

Gerard Slowey on 087-2467069 or Stephen Cahill on 087-2424590

If you are calling from Northern Ireland or outside Ireland, drop the first zero in these numbers and add 00353-87 and then the number.

You can listen to our interview with Gerard Slowey HERE

Obviously many people won't be able to travel to Ardara for the record breaking attempt but if you want to send a photo of you in your St. Patrick's costume on St. Patrick's Day or even groups of St. Patrick's at your St. Patrick's Day parade, you can send your photo to welovedonegal @ gmail.com (join the spaces either side of the @) and we will create a page on WeLoveDonegal especially for you all.

We hope to bring you photographs and video clips of the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ardara in the week following the 18th of March, so do check back.
Ardara website HERE

1 comment:

  1. This place is so beautiful and culture is also very interesting and it was great experience of me when I visited there.

    Hotel Donegal

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