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Posted: 03/03/2022

Waterway’s Ireland partners with St Patrick’s Festival 2022

Waterways Ireland has today (03.03.22) announced details of its partnership with St Patrick’s Festival that will see, for the first time in the festival’s history, a floating pageant in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade.

Supported and inspired by Waterways Ireland, the installation will be on the River Liffey near O’Connell Bridge in Dublin City Centre as a key feature of the parade on 17th March. The festival’s creative team has designed the spectacle as a visual interpretation of the biodiversity and sustainability of Ireland’s inland waterways.

In keeping with the overarching theme of this year’s festival, “Naisc/connections”, the floating garden shows how the physical waterway network connects Dublin to the rest of Ireland. It will celebrate the inland waterways; the unrivalled access they give to our cultural and natural heritage and the network of towns and villages that line the banks; the connectivity between people who love, protect, and enjoy the lakes, rivers, and canals, managed by Waterways Ireland; and the connection to the outdoors.  

Waterways Ireland Chief Executive, John McDonagh said: “We are thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity during the St Patrick’s Festival to celebrate our waterway network in the capital city and its links to hundreds of communities across the island. Many of our poets, artists and lovers of heritage, nature and culture have drawn inspiration from the Royal and Grand canals. Reaching out to our communities in Ireland and abroad to share our story of the unexplored outdoors is the very essence of Waterways Ireland and well captured by the festival organisers through this innovative floating pageant.”

St Patrick’s Festival Interim Director, Anna McGowan said: “We are so excited to introduce a brand-new feature in this year’s parade, a floating water garden – celebrating biodiversity, sustainability, and connections with our national waterways by St Patrick’s Festival, Dublin, in partnership with Waterways Ireland. Responding to the Festival’s theme of ‘connections’, this floating pageant piece is a celebration of the many connections our waterways offer us as a nation, threading together the four corners of Ireland. Through a large-scale, colourful installation, it will creatively explore the ways in which our waters bring us together through a tapestry of wild biodiversity, representing the spirit of life on the water and the significance of the experiences it has witnessed throughout history.”

“We thank Waterways Ireland for their belief in St Patrick’s Festival 2022. Our work together is a clear demonstration of how important it is for sectors to connect and support each other’s work. This investment by Waterways Ireland shows how artists and organisations can collaborate to experience, celebrate, and appreciate our natural amenities. Increasing awareness of such precious assets will continue to help us focus attention on the importance of protecting our natural resources."

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