John Burke, mountaineer and founder of the charity Elevate, has been named Grand Marshal of this year’s Ennis St Patrick’s Day parade.
Mayor of Ennis Councillor Paul Murphy today said that John is receiving the honour in recognition of his efforts to bring wellness programmes to young people in Clare, as well as his achievement of becoming the first Clare person to summit Mount Everest in 2017.
John will join Mayor Murphy in leading the parade in a horse-drawn carriage, which will be followed by approximately 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare.
Mayor Murphy commented, “During my term as Mayor, I have committed to promoting positive mental health initiatives and individuals and groups who are working in the area. John through his own remarkable personal achievements and through Elevate is playing a key part in ensuring that the most vulnerable in society are protected and supported. That is why I am delighted he has accepted my invitation to be this year’s Grand Marshal.”
More than 10,000 people are expected to line the streets of the county capital on March 17 for the annual event. Among the international visitors to Ennis for this year’sarade is a group of musicians from Langenfeld, Ennis’ German twinning partner.
The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Ennis – Ireland’s Friendliest Place’, which the local authority says provides participating groups, organisations, bands, schools and members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the recently awarded status.
There will be an overall prize of €400 for the group that best represents the parade theme while all parade participants will be included in an open draw for one of four prizes of €150 each.