Donegal groups celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in London

One of London’s liveliest celebrations of the year took place last Sunday at the London St. Patricks Day parade.

One of London’s liveliest celebrations of the year took place last Sunday at the London St. Patricks Day parade.

Despite the inclement weather it attracted over 100,000 people.

The parade featured colourful floats and marching bands representing various Irish counties which included a float from the Donegal Association, along with the Dungloe’s Carrickmore marching band and the Inishowen Carnival Group.

This was the first year the Donegal Association entered a float in the parade and it was mainly down to the Inishowen men for making it happen with the assistance of the Glencolmcille crew. Burnfoot man John McDaid of McDaid’s Haulage supplied the lorry, the driver was Daniel Allen from Muff.

Mark McMonagle of Malin Head, along with Paul O’Donnell from Glencolmcille designed the float and Mark McMonagle put it all together. David Cannon of Gweedore designed the banners.

The Donegal Float showcased Ellie’s Irish dancers and singer Sarah Griffen and it also had members of the Tir Chonaill Gaels Junior team on board.

The parade started at mid-day from Green Park then went through Piccadilly, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

It was led by visiting politicians including Sinn Fein’s Pat Doherty and wife Mary and the newly appointed Minister for Arts Heritage & Gaeltacht affairs, Jimmy Deenihan.

Trafalgar square hosted a free programme of live Irish music and dance, compared by Patrick Keilty. The music covered both the contemporary and traditional with Damien Dempsey, Davit Showband, Laim O Maonlai of the Hot House Flowers, Beoga and Lumiere with Pauline Scanlon and Eillis Kennedy among those to perform.