ALTHOUGH many of us are still nursing sore heads from last Friday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, one local arts graduate is already hard at work preparing for next year’s parade, which will feature floats and displays that he has handcrafted himself over 12 months of job-free spare time.
Malcolm Og McCionaith-Ward, 36, will keep up his tradition of being chief parade organiser for his hometown of Ballyhannerty, Co. Waterford, just as he has done for the past 11 years after completing his degree in Celtic Design & Performance Art.
McCionaith-Ward will once again avail of the garage attached to his parent’s house where he still lives to create a number of papier-mache heads and fluorescent outfits, which will be paraded in front of the 87 people who live in Ballyhannerty on Paddy’s Day next year.
“The theme of this float will be ‘Ireland; wild banshee, tender mother'” said McCionaith-Ward, drawing up a picture of his Dad’s Volkswagen Jetta covered in bunting.
“Colour meets energy meets vibrancy meets Irish dancing, with me centre stage dressed as Conor McGregor as the local Irish dancing class do a jig around the front of the car. And to think, my parents wanted me to get a job and move out of the house… I couldn’t possibly rob this yearly joy from the people of Ballyhannerty. It’s too deeply rooted in our culture”.
Interviews with Ballyhannerty locals have confirmed that yes, the contributions of McCionaith-Ward certainly add a bit of colour to the Patrick’s Day parade, but they’re not as good as the nine tractors that make up the rest of the day’s entertainment.