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Teddy bears as guests in ‘at home’ St Patrick’s Day parades around Ireland

Families following the self isolation advice made their own fun despite the coronavirus lock down and rain across the day.

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Children creating their own St Patrick’s Day parade at their home in Donegal (Donal O Faogain/Twitter)

Children creating their own St Patrick’s Day parade at their home in Donegal (Donal O Faogain/Twitter)

Children creating their own St Patrick’s Day parade at their home in Donegal (Donal O Faogain/Twitter)

The large scale St Patrick’s Day parades may have been cancelled, but that did not stop many Irish families creating their own festive fun.

Teddy bears and toys were the guests of honour in the at home parades staged in back gardens and living rooms across Ireland.

In Co Donegal, Donal O Faogain’s family were among many who put on their, own albeit mini, event.

Little Roisin, Donal Og and their mum Lousie refused to let either the Covid-19 shutdown or the rain dampen their spirits, with the children happily pulling a mini trailer to transport the teddy bear guests.

“We just thought that being stuck in the house was no excuse not to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we decided to have a traditional rainy parade in Donegal,” he said.

Pat Bracken from Co Tipperary and his daughter Ellen featured Tigger as the Grand Marshal at their event.

“Basically I saw that RTE were asking people to keep the spirit of St Patrick’s Day alive and have a virtual parade in their back yard. So my daughter Ellen and I got some of the old toy cars and toys out to try and put some humour around the whole Covid-19 situation,” he said.

“So we put out the best that we had and some teddies, but also the loo rolls, hand sanitiser and Trocaire box to reflect the sort of things that may go on in an actual parade. I live in Thurles and Ellen did the recording for me. Tigger was the Grand Marshal.”

Julie Anne de Brun and her children in Galway sang an Irish song to ward away the self-isolation blues.

“I sang with two of my children Muireann, 12, and Daithi, six,” she said.

“It is sad to be confined but it is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We want to be safe, and also want our older people to be safe too.

“Grandparents and families are separated today on what is usually a national holiday with family and friends meeting and celebrating by way of parades, ceilidh dancing and music performances.

“We just want to give everyone some hope and comfort by singing a lovely Irish song which is dear to us all.”

Lochlainn McKenna’s family in Cork took things up a gear with Irish dancing.

“We just wanted to make the most of the parades being cancelled and the pubs being closed,” he said.

“We thought why not have our own little parade and try and enjoy ourselves.”

And in Dublin Peter Loscher’s family were also getting into the spirit of it in their living room.

“Surreal time for all. Important to celebrate what we can and keep spirits up,” he said.

“We’re all in this together and together Ireland will prevail.”

PA