Northern Ireland news

Midnight St Patrick's parade cancelled over lack of bands

Last year's St Patrick's Midnight Parade in Glenties was a huge success
Seamus McKinney

A parade planned to begin at midnight on St Patrick’s Day has had to be cancelled because of a lack of bands.

Organisers of the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Glenties in Co Donegal had intended to be the first in Ireland to celebrate the national saint.

However, they were forced to abandon their plans when only one marching band signed up.

The Glenties Community Development Group first came up with the idea last year when they found they were unable to entice bands for a day-time parade because they were committed to other towns.

The inaugural St Patrick’s Midnight Parade proved a huge success with large crowds turning out for the celebration.

However, the group announced on Tuesday that it has been forced to cancel this week's event because bands are not available.

A spokesman said: “The decision was unanimously taken at last night’s meeting; the main reason is because of the unavailability of marching bands.

A Giant St Patrick measuring 30 foot tall (10 metres) in St Patrick Square. Downpatrick ahead of this weekends St Patricks Day events in the town Picture Mal McCann.

“With bands not being available (apart from Maghera) it just makes it impossible to have a parade without them.”

The spokesman said the decision to cancel had not been easy.

“We exhausted every avenue to try to make it work but it just couldn’t be done. It now makes last year’s even more special,” he said.

The group hopes to re-instate the midnight march for next year’s St Patrick’s celebrations.

A Giant St Patrick measuring 30 foot tall (10 metres) in St Patrick Square. Downpatrick ahead of this weekends St Patricks Day events in the town Picture Mal McCann.

A Giant St Patrick measuring 30 foot tall (10 metres) in St Patrick Square. Downpatrick ahead of this weekends St Patricks Day events in the town Picture Mal McCann.

A Giant St Patrick measuring 30 foot tall (10 metres) in St Patrick Square. Downpatrick ahead of this weekends St Patricks Day events in the town Picture Mal McCann.

A Giant St Patrick measuring 30 foot tall (10 metres) in St Patrick Square. Downpatrick ahead of this weekends St Patricks Day events in the town Picture Mal McCann.

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