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Feel good Gardaí to parade new work gear for Co Kerry locals on St Patrick's Day

'There's going to be a really feel-good vibe,' said Bryan Carr, organiser of the Tralee St Patrick's Day Parade

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Gardaí doing the Jersualema challenge

Gardaí doing the Jersualema challenge

Gardaí doing the Jersualema challenge

They went viral for their snappy Jerusalema challenge, lifting the nation's spirits at the height of the pandemic last year.

Now local gardaí will be taking centre stage at the St Patrick's Day parade, in Tralee, Co Kerry, showcasing their brand new uniforms - and maybe even reprising that dance sequence.

"It's not (currently) on the cards but we could well end up doing it," said Sgt Tim O'Keeffe of Tralee.

He added that along with other members of the emergency services, gardaí will march with Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster to celebrate their centenary year.

Their appearance will also feature some old uniforms, High Nelly bicycles and old patrol cars.

"We want to showcase the old along with the new."

Meanwhile, the parade will be commanded by not one but 12 proud Grand Marshals in sashes - all children from Little Blue Heroes, the garda voluntary organisation that aims to help the families of children with serious illness.

"There's going to be a really feel-good vibe," said Bryan Carr, organiser of the Tralee St Patrick's Day Parade.

The last two years have been tough on everybody and while their virtual parade last year got thousands of views and was seen all around the world, "it just wasn't the same," he said.

This year they're back with a bang with "Let's Go the Green Way" as their theme, to promote the new Tralee-Fenit Greenway, which was due to be completed last year but after Covid, saw the opening of the 14km-long amenity pushed back to this summer.

Organisers are also appealing to everyone participating in this year's parade to consider sustainability, eco-tourism and a green-friendly awareness.

Part of the route will be designated a sensory awareness street, with noises muted to allow those with autism to be able to enjoy the event.

"There has been a fierce amount of community interest and a desire to make the parade happen again," Mr Carr said.

Pupils from his stage school will perform in the parade along with sporting and community organisations.

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"There's a huge pent-up desire there that wants to explode. People just want to get out there and do what we do best and that's local communities coming together and expressing all that is good about their area."

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