Short is beautiful for village parade

With a school, a pub, a shop, and a GAA club, it is a typical Irish village.

But this year Oram in Co Monaghan is aiming to make international headlines after claiming the shortest route for its St Patrick’s Day parade — at a mere 55m.

“We are the homestead of Big Tom, the king of country and western music and now we are also home to the shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world,” said parade organiser Pierce Fox.

A YouTube video of last year’s parade, along a route which then measured 200m, brought the tiny border village unexpected attention.

“This year we decided we would shorten it again, so now it is down from 200m to 55m. We couldn’t have it too short or it would be just a march,” said Mr Fox.

The village of Dripsey in Co Cork is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world, at 23.4m.

The parade covered the distance between the village’s two pubs, the Weigh Inn and the Lee Valley, until the closure of the Lee Valley Inn in 2007.

The Oram route is bordered by the only shop in the village at one end and, a five-minute walk away, by the GAA clubhouse.

Big Tom, now 76, added: “Our parade makes us different and we definitely stand out from the rest which are longer and take more time to pass by for everyone standing there.”

The parade is part of The Gathering and Oram has invited its former residents overseas to return for the national day.

Mr Pierce said: “We may be small but we still get crowds of thousands and have a great day on our national holiday.”


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