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St. Patrick’s Festival Joins Forces with NEIC for a Spectacular Parade

St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin City Council and the North East Inner City Initiative have announced a new partnership to celebrate the North East Inner City and its historic relationship with the St. Patrick’s Festival.

A co-production between the three organisations, over 180 participants are putting their best foot forward on March 17th as the pageant celebrates the energy, resilience and talent that make up the community of the NEIC, shining a light of positivity over the story and power of the NEIC and the Talent, Strength, Hope, Diversity and Joy in this community.

Over the course of the past few months, the participants have been working on two floats which will follow the Lord Mayor’s carriage along the St Patrick’s Day parade route. The first is based on the iconic Dublin landmark The Five Lamps, while the second is a boxing ring denoting the sport’s popularity in the area.

Photo: Julien Behal.

Working with a creative team led by designer Vanessa Daws, local community groups, schools and sports clubs in the NEIC played a major role in co-creating this year’s pageant around the Festival’s theme of Spréach or Spark.

Photo: Julien Behal.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste says “The North East Inner City is a wonderful part of Dublin steeped in history and there is so much to celebrate about the area. I am absolutely delighted that the people of the NEIC have come together to showcase all that is good about where they’re from. I’m honoured to be the first Lord Mayor to lead people from the inner city along the parade route. I’m also really excited about the day itself and I look forward to seeing what they’ve come up with. Roll on March 17!!

St Patrick’s Festival has a history of process-based, longer-term community action through artistry and pageantry and this project serves as a ‘proof of concept’, demonstrating to other potential stakeholders the value of the Festival as a credible and viable vehicle for meaningful, community-based projects.

Richard Tierney, CEO St. Patrick’s Festival said “This year’s partnership aims to empower the community by giving them a platform to showcase the thriving, talented, and diverse people who call it home. The pageant itself is going to be a fantastic embodiment of the colour, character and spirit of this wonderful community.” 

Chair of the NEIC Implementation Board, Jim Gavin commented “We in Dublin’s North East Inner City are proud that the iconic 5 Lamps and a Boxing Ring, both symbolic of the community, will be showcased in the 2024 St. Patrick’s Festival – the largest celebration of Irish Culture and Heritage in the world! The long-standing connection between the St Patricks Day Parade and the North East Inner City will this year feature 180 of our young people who worked together to design & build the floats. The colour and energy will be amazing on the day, creating positive sparks and driving the common goal towards Creating a Brighter Future for all in the North East Inner City.”

Dublin City Council’s Assistant Chief Executive, Frank d’Arcy said “I very much welcome this event and congratulate the NEIC Initiative and St. Patrick’s Festival for highlighting the positives within the local community and I look forward to seeing the pageant and the fabulous colours on display as part of the Festival”.

Ciara Sugrue, head of Festivals and Events at Fáilte Ireland said: “Festivals and events are a key component of Ireland’s tourism offering showcasing the best of Irish culture, places and people. They have the ability to drive footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation as well as creating opportunities for community engagement. 

 Working closely with the local community is key to developing and promoting a compelling programme of events that celebrate both our national holiday, and all that Dublin has to offer. Collaborations like this are where the heart of the parade lies, and Fáilte Ireland is thrilled that through our national parade and festival, these fantastic communities get to showcase their performances and creations on the world stage.”

Lead artists Amy Hearty and Saoirse O’Shea workshopped with the students of O’Connell’s School, Larkin Community College and St Joseph’s Secondary School together with the Francesca Arkins Dance Academy to create the storyboard, designs and props for their performance in the St Patrick’s Festival Parade 2024.

Alongside lead performance facilitator Hugh Brown and St. Patrick’s Festival Community Arts Performance Director Muirne Bloomer, participants rehearsed their performance elements over a period of 8 weeks leading up to the Parade, weaving a rich tapestry of movement stories and dance to create an energetic and invigorating experience to entertain the audience on March 17th.

Participating groups include Arkins Dance and Stage AcademyNEIC Trojans Basketball ClubDublin Docklands Boxing ClubSwan Youth ServicesSheriff Youth ClubSt Joseph’s CBS Secondary SchoolLarkin Community CollegeO’Connell Secondary SchoolNEIC Trojans Basketball Club, as well as specially commissioned puppet and props by highly skilled artists Tommy Casby, Martin Cahill and Andrew Clancy. The Project Manager is Justine Doswell with assistance from Rachel Hopkins.

St. Patrick’s Festival is made possible through the continued support of the Government of Ireland, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, and many generous partners and funders.

The Festival Programme is available at and will continue to be updated as more events are announced. See for details and tickets. To be the first to hear all the news, join the Festival mailing list on the website and follow St. Patrick’s Festival on all social media channels.