A St Patrick’s Day committee has clarified a “ban” on Irish dancers performing in this year’s parade.
Anthony Lynch, chairman of the Drogheda parade committee in Co Louth, said the use of the word “ban” in media reports was a “misunderstanding”.
A press release issued about the parade quoted a committee member as saying: “Due to health and safety concerns, performance has been cut out along the parade route this year. Gardaí have advised us that due to health and safety regulations, we cannot allow our dancers or gymnasts to perform as they march along the route.”
However, Mr Lynch said the parade will continue to allow dancers to perform as it has done for “the last 33 years” – as long as they don’t dance in the one spot.
“They are still allowed dance and perform as long as they keep moving,” he said.
“Marching groups must keep moving because we have four-year-olds marching and if a group stops, these little things are freezing, so the idea is for them to keep it moving and keep everybody happy.”
He told the ‘Drogheda Leader’ earlier this week: “The dancing led to long delays, with many people actually thinking the parade had finished before it had.”
A Garda spokeswoman said gardaí had no role in who participates in St Patrick’s Day parades. “This is a matter solely for the organising committee. There is a comprehensive policing and security plan in place for every event we attend.”
The Drogheda St Patrick’s Day parade is one of the biggest in the country.