There were the pro photographers all ready to start blasting at noon today at the start of the Africa Day parade at St. John's Church, but they had nobody to shoot!
For only a couple of the organisers and the only local Africa day fan, Cllr. Malcolm Noonan turned up! There was therefore no parade from the church to the castle, as advertised.
But about two hundred people did turn up for the music at the far end of the Castle Park for a most enjoyable African rock concert afterwards. We met our pal Benjani from Sierra Leone as he helped organise the day - he works in the Kieran Street Dunnes Stores. Of course Malcolm Noonan was there and Paddy Butler, formerly of the Kilkenny Workers party, too.
But the weather was fabulous , the food tents were doing great business along the Parade, so it wasn't a disappointment at all. Sometimes you can enjoy an event even better without a big crowd around.
Malcolm Noonan had more bad news during the week that Joe Malone is the new organiser of the St. Patrick's Day parade. Malcolm put a lot of effort along with Marion Flannery over the years and nobody holds out much hope of rescuing the Parade that quite honestly has gone from bad to worse. There's not a pipe band left in the town, a topic we discussed with Liam Quigley, who thankfully is looking well again, during the week.
The James Stephens, his own band, the Kilkenny & District and the Marble City Pipe band all seem to be in the doldrums at the moment, there;s the CBS Pipe Band too. Maybe G.I. Joe will breed new life into them for next St. Patrick's Day. Funding was always the problem with maintaining the pipe bands which are very expensive to run and hopefully Joe will fix that.