WNT selected as Grand Marshal for St. Patrick's Day
Team Manager Vera Pauw, experienced defender Diane Caldwell and former international Paula Gorham will represent the team and lead out the national parade on Friday March 17th.
The efforts, skill and determination of the Women’s National Football Team has seen them reach their first ever FIFA World Cup Finals taking place later this year in Australia and New Zealand. The entire squad reflects the very best of Ireland’s strength, perseverance and sporting achievement and acts as an inspiration for fans young and old across Ireland.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy: “The National St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of Dublin’s most memorable occasions and I am really looking forward to having the chance to enjoy it from the beautiful Lord Mayor’s carriage. I think it’s particularly fitting that this year’s Grand Marshal is the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team, represented by their Manager Vera Pauw. They have been an inspiration to us all and we’ll be following their progress closely at the World Cup later this year.”
Republic of Ireland National Women’s Team Manager, Vera Pauw: “What a year 2023 will be for women’s football in Ireland but also for the country as a whole because we celebrate our success together. The achievement of this team is incredible but we know that we wouldn’t have made it without the fantastic support of the Irish people, from all around the world. So it is a huge honour for the team to be named as Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade before we fly to Australia this summer to do the nation proud at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I feel extremely lucky to represent the squad and will be especially looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces on March 17th.”
St. Patrick’s Festival CEO, Richard Tierney: “This year’s Parade is shaping up to be the biggest and brightest National St. Patrick’s Day Parade ever. We’re honoured to have Vera Pauw and the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team as our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. Their hard work and dedication to their game is reflective of the efforts of people up and down the country and beyond as they put the final touches to their performances and get ready to showcase their talents for us all to enjoy on March 17th.”
This year’s National St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns to the streets of Dublin city from 12 noon on Friday March 17th, winding its way from Parnell Square to Kevin St Junction. Driven by the values of community, diversity, youth and sustainability, it will be the most ambitious ever, featuring breath-taking new artistic, interactive and aerial elements.
A major new opening pageant has been commissioned featuring a collaboration with St. Patrick’s Festival Community Arts pageant with Macnas, Junk Kouture, Discovery Gospel Choir, and a whole host of community groups. The Parade will feature 7 creative pageants, 10 transitional showpiece performances, 15 marching bands from across Ireland, North America and Canada, and over 4,000 participants.
In September 2022, Ireland secured a spot in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying Play-Offs for the first time, beating Finland 1-0 with a goal from Lily Agg in front of a record crowd of 6,592, and then overcoming Slovakia away. This achievement was soon surpassed when Ireland won their Play-Off Final 1–0 over Scotland in Glasgow the following month with a stunning goal from Amber Barrett securing qualification for the final tournament.
Manager Vera Pauw has been there through it all to help the Women’s National Team achieve these successes, not only leading them to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup, but also helping them to achieve their highest ever position in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, secure their biggest ever win, equal their best ever away result, set a new home attendance record and also helped the team to a record nine-game unbeaten run that they are currently on. Her efforts were recognised as she claimed the Manager of the Year at the 2022 RTE Sports Awards, the first woman to ever win this award.
Diane Caldwell, who has represented the Ireland Women’s Team on 93 occasions, has been there through it all since making her debut in 2006. The Dublin native has played professionally in Iceland, Norway, Germany, United States and now in England with Reading. She has been a key part of Pauw’s defensive unit – including playing in that famous win over Scotland last November – and has helped to raise standards by being part of the players’ group that helped to introduce an equal pay structure for the players.
Paula Gorham is a legendary figure in women’s football in Ireland after scoring a hat-trick on her Ireland Women’s Team debut – as a 16-year-old – in the country’s first ever women’s international when they beat Wales 3-2 in May 1973. As the 50th year anniversary of the team rolls closer, Paula has remained a positive ambassador for the game and can be seen and heard at home games in Tallaght Stadium cheering on the Girls in Green.
The National St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin runs from March 16 to 19, 2023 and is made possible through the continued support of the Government of Ireland, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, and many generous partners and funders.
Returning to the 2023 festivities is Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks which will be home to a magical day-to-night urban Festival for all, from March 16th to 19th on the grounds of one of Ireland’s most spectacular and historic heritage sites, in the heart of Dublin. Festival Quarter will also host the Food & Drinks Village, a daily showcase of Ireland’s incredible produce, arts and crafts and a space for all to relax and connect.
For full programme details, tickets and more see www.stpatricksfestival.ie