ONE Donegal town was lit up by a popular piper on a soaking St Patrick’s Day for a ‘parade’ with a difference.
The rain teemed from the heavens as ‘Donegal Piper’ Christy Murray paraded through Raphoe.
by Chris McNulty in Raphoe. Pictures by Joe Boland, North West News Pix
Undeterred by the heavy rain, Christy marched on and played for well over an hour, visiting every estate and corner in the east Donegal town.
What had been planned as a one-man St Patrick’s Day parade gathered momentum and soon after he began in The Diamond he was followed by people in around 20 cars, the occupants beeping their horns and waving Irish flags, many of them dressed in green.
“I had to wear the cape, but following Donegal over the years hardens you up,” Christy said.
In many estates, families came to the door to cheer Christy through and many homes were decorated in customary St Patrick’s Day style.
Christy is known across Ireland as the bag-piper at Donegal GAA matches, where he regular entertains crowds with some favourites from his song book, including The Hills of Donegal, finished off with his signature ‘Up Donegal’ fist pump.
He said: “I just thought, for the day that it was, that I would pipe a few tunes around the town.
“I just wanted to bring plenty cheer and it was great to see flags, jerseys, bunting all out. It was very heartening to the people who came out to cheer.”
When he first took up the pipes, Christy regularly paraded in the town on St Patrick’s Day as part of the now-defunct pipe band in Raphoe.
A regular at sessions in bars in Raphoe, Letterkenny and Fanad, this was certainly a St Patrick’s Day with a difference for Christy, who had been due to lead a parade in Leitrim before its cancellation.
Sheets of rain fell from the black skies above St Eunan’s Cathedral, but with Christy’s help the doom and gloom lifted as Raphoe still managed to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in its own way.Tags: