Organised by Cork City Council, the Cork St Patrick’s Festival took place last weekend from Friday March 17-Sunday March 19. On Friday March 17th, up to 3000 participants took part in the Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade which featured fantastic floats and performances by community and voluntary groups from all over Cork. There were also large colourful creative floats from Street Performance Groups Dowtcha Puppets, Spraoi, Macnas and Cork Community Artlink.
The Cork St Patrick’s Festival continues to embrace inclusivity and for the first time an ISL Interpreter was located next to the Viewing Stand on Patrick’s Street making the Parade fully accessible to the Deaf Community. Throughout the Parade, the ISL Interpreter provided simultaneous translation to the Parade Commentary given by MC Neil Prendeville from Cork’s RED FM.
Graham O’Shea, Secretary of the Cork Deaf Club said
“On behalf of the Cork Deaf Club, I would like to thank Cork City Council for making this year's St. Patrick's Day fully accessible. The Cork Deaf community was thrilled that ISL interpretation was provided; as a result not only could we watch the parade, but we could also follow the commentary, knowing who every group was and what they represented. This is a very welcome first for Deaf citizens of Cork! We look forward to collaborating with the City Council again on similar initiatives.”
There was also a reserved section in the Parade route which provided disability access to members of the public.
At a special ceremony, which took place in Cork City Council on Wednesday March 22, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Des Cahill announced the winners of the Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade Awards.
The following groups were all recognised:
Best Overall Entry: United Filipino Irish Association
The Spirit of the Parade Award: School of Asian Studies
Best Sports Group: Cork BMX Club
Best Youth Group: Masquerade Ball Rainbow Club for Children with autism
Best Dance or Music Display Group: Making Moves
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Des Cahill presenting an award for Best Sports Group at the St. Patrick's Day Parade awards to the Cork BMX Club.