nevitably, Greystones had a much quieter Paddy’s Day than even last year’s lockdown limbo.
After 365 days of restrictions, cancellations and generally putting our lives on hold, there seemed little sense this year in heading to a parade that wasn’t actually happening.
As we trekked down through The Burnaby though, that beautiful sun seemed to be working its magic, and there were smiley, happy people where’er we turned.
And, sure agus begorrah, weren’t quite a few of them wearing the green, with one particularly proud and cheerful couple even sporting some free-range shamrock.
Moving on down through the town, initially at least, it was hard to spot any Paddywhackery. One man and his bemused dog at the station seemed to sum up the atmosphere. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Or just take a load off, Paddy.
Heading up Church Road, as we hit Eleven Deli and Café Grey, there was more life though. And shoots of green too.
Not that the very young were about to burst into an acapella Seven Drunken Nights, more inconvenienced than ecstatic as GG took their pics. Being far more interested in their treats than reciting any sepia-toned treaties.
Further on up, sure, there’s Neil Smith’s always jovial and joking parents (they’re definitely up to something) along with Emma and Sadie, parading their pampered and patriotic pooches, Bonnie and Mia.
Outside The Happy Pear, Siobhan Hanley and her man servant were soaking up the rays and sipping from a suspiciously smoke-filled flask, whilst a detour down by the South Beach made us realise where most Greystonians were heading for their Paddy’s Day kicks.
Finally, some proper diddley-aye-potatoes costumes, seething siblings pressed into IRFU sweatshirts and young Finn waving the bejiggers out of his homemade Irish flag.
By the time we got to the harbour, sure the green was flying high, with old friends catching up on the benches whilst the next generation did their best to burn some rubber onto that big, shiny boardwalk.
Add to that a mighty Paddy’s Day greeting from our twin town cousins over in Holyhead, and a plethora of fine videos arriving at GG HQ (Bo & Clover going Full Riverdance once again, Kate & Ewan belting out a barroom blitz and Sugarloaf Gymnastics leaping very, very high), plus sweet selfies full of big happy heads, and sure, if Shane MacGowan were alive and kicking today, he’d no doubt write a rousing ballad about it all.
So, wherever you are in the world, hope your Paddy’s Day is just as sunny, and funny, and friendly as ours. Now, here’s to a major – nay, heroic – blowout in 2022…