Special Olympians Announced as Limerick Grand Marshals for St Patrick's Day Parade

Publish Date: Monday 10th March 2014

Special Olympics athletes from Team Munster have been announced as the Grand Marshals for the Limerick 2014 St Patrick's Day Parade.

The announcement was made today (Monday) as Limerick, National City of Culture 2014, plays host to the 2014 Special Olympics Ireland games this June in what will be one of the largest and most prestigious sporting events to take place in Ireland this year.
The group of six local athletes who will compete as part of Team Munster will include the face of the 2014 Games, Limerick basketball player Christine Delaney.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin said Limerick will give a huge welcome to the athletes on St Patrick's Day as they lead an estimated 4000 participants in this year's parade.

“Sport is a huge part of our culture in Limerick and we're honoured and delighted that our Special Olympic athletes who will represent us so proudly at the Ireland games will also lead our 2014 Parade,” she said.

“I know that the thousands of spectators who line the streets for our St Patrick's Day parade in Limerick will give them a massive welcome and Special Olympics Ireland, which offers year-round sports training to people with an intellectual disability, will be counting on the support of everyone in Limerick to make the 2014 Games a success.”

Matt English, CEO with Special Olympics Ireland said approximately 1500 Special Olympics athletes from throughout the island of Ireland will travel to Limerick for the Ireland games this June accompanied by 500 coaches and official delegates as well as a contingent of over 3,000 family members. He said the charity is delighted to be involved with this year's Limerick St. Patrick's Day parade.

‘It is a great honour for our athletes to be nominated as Grand Marshals for this year's parade. There is great excitement among everyone associated with Special Olympics Ireland that the 2014 Games are returning once again to Limerick in June. I have no doubt that with the support of the people of Limerick these Games will be a fantastic success and a positive experience for all involved,” he added.

More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s Limerick City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest ever to be hosted in Ireland’s National City of Culture.

The expanded St. Patrick’s Festival programme also includes the 44th Limerick International Band Championship and the ‘Paddy's Day Unlocked’ City of Culture event in The Milk Market. A number of local landmark buildings such as King John’s Castle and Limerick City Hall are also being illuminated in green light to mark Ireland’s national holiday.

Close on 70,000 spectators expected to line the streets of Limerick City Centre to watch thousands of parade participants, floats, community groups and bands provide a riot of colour, noise and entertainment for the annual St Patrick's Day Parade.
Internationally renowned festival favourites including highly acclaimed street theatre group Macnas, Buí Bolg Productions and Centre Stage Theatre School.

The St Patrick's Day parade will be preceded by the International Band Championship on Sunday, March 16th at 12 noon when 21 bands from all over Ireland, USA and Europe will compete to be crowned Overall Parade Champion. The Band Championship will start in Pery Square and end in Arthur’s Quay with a free concert for the public in Arthur’s Quay Park.

Last update:10/03/2014

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