Heritage Festival Great Success
Hoist the Jolly Roger - Pirates sail into town manning the Sub Aqua Club ship at the St. Patricks Day Parade
A great week of celebration culminating in the St. Patricks Day Parade on Sunday 17th, made this years Heritage Festival an unqualified success. Donegal Times has comprehensive coverage of events on other pages - suffice here to return thanks to the hard working committee members who planned, directed and supervised the whole operation. So take a bow Patricia Callaghan, Eddie Marshall, Lynda ODonnell, Wendy McCarry, Simon Waugh, Aidan Haughey and Nigel Weir.
However, now is the time for this committee to start planning for next year. Good acts and bands are hard to come by - the proliferation of festivities all over the country means a dearth of top-class performers as those normally available are in big demand to cover the multitude of events on this par
ticular week. The only hope is to start straight away in search of next years attractions. The big crowds that flocked into town, particularly over the final weekend, benefited most businesses and these should now be approached to sponsor (or co-sponsor) an act or band. This would allow organisers go out to negotiate with the means in hand to entice the best to town.
Well done to all who took part in the 10 days of events and particularly congratulations to the Sub Aqua Club who won the best float award in the parade and the Magee shop which lifted the best shop window award.
Goodbye F.C.A. - Welcome Reserve Defence Force
St Patricks Day 2002 in Donegal Town was an historic day for members of the new reserve defence force who marked the day with military ceremonies to commemorate the passing of the F.C.A. and to welcome the new reserve defence force which is to become an integral part of the army, resulting in major changes in its role and equipment.
The day, for members of B Company, 24th Battalion, started with Comdt Tony Meehan inspecting the troops, resplendent in their new distorted pattern uniform. This uniform is one of the many visible changes, alongside new weapons and training procedures, that are being put in place to bring the reserve into line with the permanent defence force and indeed other armies within the United Nations. Members in future will play a more active role, with integration into the army leading up to the possibility of overseas service. Major changes indeed since the days of the L.D.F!
After the inspection of the troops, the tradition of the Company Commander presenting a sprig of shamrock to each soldier was carried out. These were proudly worn behind each persons cap badge.
A connection to those who served during the Emergency was evident when Comdt. Meehan presented octogenarian P.J. McGowan with a shamrock. P.J. is an honorary member of B Coy and a frequent visitor to the barracks in Donegal and Finner.
Again, the honour of leading the parade fell to B Company. The main body under Capt. L Thomas followed the colour party under Lt. M Nevin. Eyes right was given as the company passed the reviewing stand and Comdt. Meehan took the salute, as is the custom.
The company ended the day back at Headquarters at the Mullins where the main topic of conversation was of those past members of the F.C.A and L.D.F. who were the foundation of todays force. Their service and loyalty was the cornerstone of the new reserve and those now serving will always remember them.
B Company 24th Battalion covers an area of South-West Donegal from the Gweebarra to Bundoran and is open to both male and female recruits. It has been the starting point for many who went on to serve full-time in the army and many of its former members are serving on peace-keeping missions in Lebanon, Ethiopia, Kosovo, East Timor and many other war zones throughout the world. It looks forward to maintaining its proud tradition within the new force long into the future.
Scenes from St Patrick's Day Parade
Goretti Sweeney, Alice Kelly and Audrey Irwin with Stormy Stan pose in front of Waveney Lifeboat
Donegal Town Mayor Alex Reid meets the cast of the Parent and Toddler Float.
The Donegal Town Parent and Toddler group would like to thank all the people who helped them prepare the float for this years St. Patricks Day parade. This hard work was well rewarded with the winning of a trophy. They are Martin McGowan (transport), Martin Fowley, John Gildea, Martin McGowan (Donegal Town Hardware Store) and of course all the parents and children. Well done everyone. We would also like to thank the Donegal Town Heritage Committee who sponsored minerals, sweets and medals for the children. The group meet every Tuesday morning in the St. John Bosco centre 10.30am. to noon.
The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland
Tel: +353-73-22860 Fax: +353-73-22937