THE St Patrick’s Day parade will be re-routed back to the Melmount Road, a meeting of council has confirmed.
The issue was previously raised by Strabane independent councillor, Raymond Barr earlier this year. Traditionally part of the St Patrick’s Day parade, the Melmount Road was removed from the route in 2018 for a more town-centric approach. However in the wake of that St Patrick’s Day parade, social media was awash with complaints that the removal of the Melmount Road had resulted in a diminished atmosphere. Others pointed to the residents in care homes in the area who would have missed the parade.
A recent meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee confirmed the re-routing would take place.
“To revert back to the original route (incorporating Melmount Road) for the Strabane St Patrick’s Day celebrations will see additional health and safety costs including traffic management estimated at £3,445 (increased from £1,840 in 2019) and stewarding estimated at £3,500 (increased from £1,944 in 2019),” a report to committee members explained.
“To cover the additional costs of extending the parade route within the existing budget would see a reduction in town centre activity and a concentration on parade activity only.”
For his part, Cllr Barr welcomed the development.
“The council’s Business and Culture Committee has agreed with my proposal in reinstate the St Patrick’s Day parade on the original route which includes the Melmount Road.”
Mayor Michaela Boyle also praised the decision. She said, “This is very welcome news, especially for residents in the area and on Bridge Street and for the residents of the local nursing homes.
“Concerns were raised following the parade last year and I am glad to see councillors were unanimous in listening to the views of the local community on this one and agreeing the original route would be reinstated.”