Cork's St Patrick's Day Parade to mark women’s voting rights

Cork's St Patrick's Day Parade to mark women’s voting rights
Cork St Patrick's Day Parade will mark women's voting rights this year  Pic Darragh Kane

PLANS are underway for the 2018 St Patrick’s Day Parade and organisers have announced that this year’s theme will be ‘Democracy for All – 100 Years of The Vote for Women’.

The parade, which is the highlight of the 2018 Cork St Patrick’s Festival, will take place at 1pm on Saturday, March 17. 

Irish women voted for the first time in the general election in December 1918 after being granted the vote in the Representation of the People Act. The right to vote was limited — voting was only open to women over 30 years old if they were either a member or married to a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner, or a graduate. 

By contrast, all men over 21 had the right to vote. It was 1922 before the Irish Free State gave women equal voting rights with men.

Cork City Council is calling for applications from community and voluntary groups interested in taking part in the parade.

Festival organisers are urging community groups to think creatively and to interact with the theme.Forms are available on or they can be got by email from

The parade runs from the South Mall to the Grand Parade, along St. Patrick’s Street and finishes at Merchant’s Quay.

The Grand Marshal for the event has yet to be announced. In recent years Rachel Allen, George Hook and Michael Flatley have all led the parade.

But in 2016, while the country was celebrating the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the parade was instead led by actors representing the seven signatories of the Proclamation.

The 2018 Cork St Patrick’s Festival will take place from Friday, March 16, to Sunday, March 18, and will feature live music and entertainment, and is expected to attract 80,000 visitors to Cork.

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