There were a lot of vintage vehicles, plenty of colour and bucketloads of energy at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Banagher on Sunday afternoon.
The MC's commentary, provided by Ger Hough proprietor of the famous Hough's pub on the town's Main Street (a pub which was recently placed in the top 20 pubs in Ireland in a survey), was witty, engaging and animated. He often chatted to the entrants, which was a nice idea, leading to some very funny interchanges.
There was a healthy number of entries for the Parade and, as always, we can't mention everyone, but here are some of them: the Meelick Eyrecourt Kayak Club "and all the crew"; a Rod Stewart lookalike singing the classic "Grace"; the Portumna Vintage Club; Trump's Wall (an imaginative entry that obviously involved a fair amount of work); Pat Cleary and his traditional caravan and accordion.
The MC noticed that some of the many old cars and tractors passing him didn't have up to date tax. "Did the Guards check your tax?" he joked.
Another entry was local farmer John Dolan whose record-laying hen Marmalade recently passed away. His entry was called "The legacy of Marmalade lives on" and featured Marmalade's offspring. One of the signs on the hen-filled vehicle stated, "Even the hens in Banagher don't drink and drive". John was feeding one of his hens as he chatted to the MC. "I hope that's gluten-free porridge," joked Ger.
Next in line was Dan Coolahan's 1916 Michael Collins' truck. It was the same engine as was in the famous rebel's truck, the driver told us.
Darkness into Light walked by and told the MC that this year's Darkness into Light walk will take place on Saturday May 11 at 4.15am at Banagher College.
Next up was Banagher Craft Group which told us that they meet in Crank House every Tuesday (11am to 1pm) and Thursday (6pm to 9pm).
Banagher Boxing Club was next to pass the viewing stand and the MC congratulated Sinainn Glynn on her boxing success recently. He asked her who her inspirational role model is. She answered, Katie Taylor. The MC said boxing is "a great sport to get involved in. It's great for your wellbeing and fitness."
Other entrants included the Banagher branch of the Irish Girl Guides and Brownies (that has been many years in existence), Down Syndrome Offaly Branch, Lesley Finnegan on his stilts, St Rynagh's Camogie Club, Banagher College students (who danced to "Rock around the clock" in front of the viewing stand); another lovely Dan Coolahan car, this time a 1935 Vauxhall; a "Save the Oceans" float; Banagher and District Cardiac First Response Unit; Kieran McManus in a Rover car ("a beautiful machine," opined the MC, adding, joking once again, "but we're banning petrol now and going solar power!"); Mike Boylan and Boylan Travel; Mr Mooney and B&M Haulage; Tearaways from Rathcabbin; Mary O'Meara in her Volkswagen Beetle; Offaly Diesel Services Banagher; Peter Loonam in a Morris Minor; a Hillman Imp car; Offaly Hospice; and Autism Ireland.
This was overall another successful, well supported Parade which brought a lot of fun and colour to this lovely, historic town by the Shannon.