Late Late host Patrick Kielty to lead Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade as Grand Marshall

Late Late Show host said it was an ‘honour’ to accept the traditional role ahead of next month’s festivities

The Late Late Show
Patrick Kielty took over Late Late Show hosting duties last September. PICTURE: RTE

Co Down comedian and Late Late Show host Patrick Kielty has said being chosen to lead Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade was a “pinch-me moment”.

The Dundrum native has been named the Grand Marshall for next month’s parade through Dublin city centre, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Kielty, who took over presenting the RTÉ's flagship chat show last September, will lead the parade in the traditional role, which is reserved for people of note.

Last year the Grand Marshall role was taken by the entire Ireland women’s soccer team, and in 2022 the parade was led by Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington and Paralympian Ellen Keane.

Performers taking part in Dublin's St Patrick’s Day Parade. PICTURE: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA
Performers taking part in Dublin's St Patrick’s Day Parade. PICTURE: BRIAN LAWLESS/PA

Speaking of taking up duties at this year’s parade, which is the main event of Dublin’s four-day St Patrick’s Festival running from March 15-18, Kielty told RTÉ that being asked was “one of those pinch-me moments”.

“I mean, when you’re called Patrick, you’re christened Patrick, you’re born in a place called Downpatrick, and then to get the call to be even a small part of this parade, let alone to do the job they have asked me to do this year,” he said.

“I have travelled a lot and I always get homesick if I’m not in Ireland for Paddy’s Day. For me it’s like a second birthday...the amount of terrible pints I’ve had in bad plastic glasses in countries that don’t understand Paddy’s Day over the years.

“So just to be home and have the family around, and have them coming down and being part of it, it’s really special.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Spréach’, Irish for ‘spark’, which will be reflected in the colourful floats and costumes of the estimated 4,000 participants who will walk the route from Parnell Square North to Kevin Street close to St Stephen’s Green.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste said the annual parade is “one of our most special occasions, celebrating the Spréach of the people of Ireland, which unites us all both here in Dublin and across the globe”.