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Nostalgia - Live
St. Patrick's Day Parade with a view at Grand Parade in 1956.
St. Patrick's Day Parade with a view at Grand Parade in 1956.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

St Patrick’s Day parade a beloved Cork tradition

With in excess of 50,000 spectators expected to pack the streets of Cork city on Sunday for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade, we take a look back at the much-loved event in years gone by.

 Cork women selling shamrock on St Patrick’s Street in the 1950s.

Cork women selling shamrock on St Patrick’s Street in the 1950s.

Unsurprisingly, uniformed men were a major feature of the parade in 1916.

Held two years into World War I and a little over a month before the Easter Rising, the people of Cork turned out in huge numbers to salute their local Volunteers.

 Dancing in the streets at the Cork St Patrick’s day Parade in 1973.

Dancing in the streets at the Cork St Patrick’s day Parade in 1973.

The contingent of the Cork corps of the Irish National Volunteers are in the foreground. Although not clearly visible, the Cork Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, under command of Tomás MacCurtain, marched behind the National Volunteers on this occasion.

The St Patrick's Day Parade in 1916 makes its way along Grand Parade and onto South Mall. Pictured is the Cork City Regiment of the Irish National Volunteers.
The St Patrick's Day Parade in 1916 makes its way along Grand Parade and onto South Mall. Pictured is the Cork City Regiment of the Irish National Volunteers.
Generally, however, the St Patrick’s Day Parade has been more about celebrating our community and heritage than any show of military strength.

In the 1950s, Cork’s famous shawlies also used the opportunity for some street trading, selling shamrock from their baskets.

 The ‘Players Please’ float promoting the cigarette brand appeared in the St Patrick’s Day parade in 1956. Here it is pictured at Academy Street.

The ‘Players Please’ float promoting the cigarette brand appeared in the St Patrick’s Day parade in 1956. Here it is pictured at Academy Street.

Cork’s faith was also important, with Lord Mayor Patrick McGrath attending Mass ahead of the celebrations in 1955.

Parades were just as popular then as they are now, with the image from 1956 showing the massive crowds that turned out on the day.

 Parade onlookers take in the sights and sounds in 1982.

Parade onlookers take in the sights and sounds in 1982.

Another picture from the year shows the change in culture — don’t expect to see any floats devoted to cigarette companies tomorrow.

Music has always played a major role in Cork’s celebrations and the picture from 1968 shows St. Finbarr’s Pipe Band pass the reviewing stand on Patrick’s Street.

Fordson car parade through Patrick Street in March, 1927.
Fordson car parade through Patrick Street in March, 1927.
By 1973 the changing fashions can be seen in the participants’ bell-bottomed trousers, but while styles may change, the essence of the parade does not and clothing aside, the packed crowds tomorrow will have much in common with the eager attendees from yesteryear.

Beannachtaí na Féile Padraig.