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Poll: St Patrick's Day and flying the Irish Tricolour

Seven primary schools have pulled out of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Downpatrick amid fears there could be trouble at the usually peaceful event.

The row erupted after Sinn Fein councillor, Éamann Mac Con Midhe, said he would be carrying the tricolour in the parade and no longer supports the council’s 25-year policy of flying the red and white Cross of St Patrick.

Background

Up to 30,000 spectators are expected to attend the annual St Patrick’s Day parade through the streets of Downpatrick — the reputed burial site of Ireland’s patron saint. The cross-community parade is the highlight of a week-long festival of events held annually in the Co Down town. There are 65 groups and a large number of floats taking part this year. The parade stretches half-a-mile through the town and will last an hour-and-a-half. The colourful procession begins at 2.30pm on the Ardglass Road and finishes in Market Street.



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