Mary & Gerard O’Donnell to lead St Patrick’s Day Parade

Posted on : March 15, 2019


We are delighted to announce that Mary O’Donnell along with her son Gerard will lead this year’s St Patricks Day Parade.
Mary is an ever-present part of life in our community be it through the Athletic Club, Carrick and Leitrim Community Games, the Breffni Players, the old community swimming pool in Carrick-on-Shannon and so much more as well as working as a SNA in Carrick-on-Shannon Community School. The Ardara native is best known for her exceptional work with Carrick-on-Shannon Athletic Club that started when the first of her children was only six years old and continues to this very day. Mary has also served as Carrick AC Club Chairperson and
Treasurer, she also served as County Community Games Secretary for many years, she helped organise Connacht Team Finals in Leitrim as well as officiating at the National Finals. In the days before Aura Leitrim, Leisure Mary along with other volunteers ran the outdoor swimming pool teaching thousands of children the basics of swimming & life-saving. You’d wonder where Mary found the time to become a Breffni Player, first appearing on stage in Arsenic & Old Lace and The Communication Cord as well as pantomimes like Aladdin. Typical of Mary she then moved backstage to do the unglamorous work that ensures the success of the local drama group.
When you put it all together, to call Mary widely respected does not do her justice as legions of young children, and adults alike, have
benefitted from her unselfish and unflinching work for our community.
Gerard is a multiple National Athletics Champion and one of the greatest athletes Carrick-on-Shannon has ever produced, in any code, he is one of Ireland’s best athletes and an example that perseverance and immense dedication can lead an athlete from the smallest county in Ireland to the international stage. Gerard was a multiple All-Ireland winner and international at juvenile level, his career was derailed by persistent injury, but the Carrick AC athlete kept battling away, overcoming adversity to win multiple national titles in the 110m hurdles which culminated in Gerard representing Ireland in the European Indoor Championships in 2015. Despite the lack of facilities for the intensely technical event Gerard is ranked fifth on the Irish All-Time list for the 110m Hurdles and third in the 60m Hurdles and his persistence to keep competing year on year makes him an example to any aspiring sportsperson.
The Carrick native now works as a Regional Development Officer with Athletics Ireland, Gerard is known in athletics circles all over the country, he is incredibly devoted to his home club, his achievements have seen him crowned Leitrim Sports Star of the Year twice and his example reminds us that great athletes don’t just happen overnight but take work, dedication and a desire to be the best that they can be.
Carrick on Shannon’s St Patrick’s Day Parade 2019 will be held on Sunday 17th March starting at 12.45pm