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Saturday, 15th February 2020

New committee, new route for Drogheda Paddy’s Day Parade

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Julie Plunkett (left) of Coca-Cola and outgoing chair of the Drogheda St. Patrick's Day Committee Isabel Sanroma (centre) present the Coca-Cola Perpetual Trophy, awarded annually to the Winners of the Best Entry in the Parade, to incoming committee chair, Sarah Taafe.

When the news broke a few weeks ago that the 2020 Drogheda St. Patrick’s Day parade had been cancelled due to rising insurance costs it was like a bombshell in the local community.

That Ireland’s largest town had to cancel their annual parade was the cause of much local upset and plenty of coverage in local and national media. 

But it didn’t take long for the civic pride and the true spirit of Drogheda to rise to the surface in the form of the Wogan Family of Wogan’s Home Build Depot whose generous, last minute contribution gave the parade a lifeline. 

Their support has ensured a new committee, under the umbrella of Drogheda Festivals, have been able to come together as a cross section community group who have been working tirelessly over these last few weeks to ensure the parade goes ahead.

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At a meeting in Scholars Townhouse Hotel last Tuesday Sarah Taafe, Chairperson of Drogheda Festivals, said the new Committee had been beavering away behind the scenes, linking up with the previous committee and dealing with many challenges that are now happily resolved.

She also said that they were delighted to announce that a new route has been given the green light by Louth County Council. 

“The cooperation and support of Sergeant Donal McGivern and the local Gardai was essential in making this happen” Sarah said. “This new Route will be officially unveiled at a public launch of the festival next Thursday the 20th of February in The Westcourt Hotel at 4:45PM.   

"We hope that as many groups and businesses from Drogheda and surrounding areas will participate in this year’s Parade and if you can’t take part, why not volunteer and be part of the start of all things new and Drogheda Festivals” Sarah said. 

She added that application forms are now available from Festival Secretary Sandra Gough via email: sandra.gough@hotmail.com 

At Tuesday night’s meeting, representatives from international soft drinks giant Coca-Cola handed the The Coca-Cola Perpetual Trophy, awarded annually to the Winners of the Best Entry into the Drogheda’s St. Patrick's Day Parade to the new committee. 

Returning the trophy was hostess for the evening, Patrica McGowan, proprietor of Scholars and last year’s winner of the trophy to this year's Grand Marshall, Isabel Sanroma. 

Julie Plunkett from Coca-Cola who have sponsored Drogheda’s St Patrick’s Day Parade since 1986 explained the trophy was designed specifically by the chief's at Coca-Cola HQ, Atlanta, Georgia for the Drogheda Parade. 

This was to celebrate the company’s appreciation of how a town like Drogheda became a significant player in it’s worldwide market and a major part of their European brand. 

Julie was also able to pledge the company’s continued support for the annual event which brings the citizens of our town together to celebrate its vibrant and diverse community. She thanked the Outgoing Committee for all their hard work and dedication for the last 33 years and said how she was looking forward to working with the new Committee. 

Patricia Mc Gowan from Scholar’s said that they were hoping to hold onto the Trophy but are expecting even stiffer competition from other entrants this year. 

“We are so happy that the Parade is going ahead and hope that everyone comes out and supports this Drogheda Institution on our National Holiday” she said.

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