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St Patrick’s Day parade patron honoured at Brisbane festivities

“I think everyone should embrace who they are and all other cultures,” she said.

“I’m also a huge bag pipe fan. I don’t play but I wish I could.”

Ms Schmidt said the parade alongside the Brisbane Irish Festival had a sense of community spirit.

“It’s a great feeling knowing everybody can get on board and celebrate their heritage or somebody else’s culture and feel like their apart of it for a day,” she said.

“The festival and parade just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year and I’m surprised the rain and storms forecasted didn’t scare people away this time.”

Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland Paddy Farrelly said the celebration described as inclusive and welcoming, was growing annually.

A crowd gathered outside the Botanic Gardens to watch the St Patrick's Day Parade in Queensland on March 16.

A crowd gathered outside the Botanic Gardens to watch the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Queensland on March 16.Credit:Jocelyn Garcia

“Irish and Australians are very similar but Queensland in particular and that’s why a lot of us call it home,” he said.

“What makes this a success is the people and leadership shown and of course the traditional aspects of the festival we continue.”

St Patrick’s Day Parade Association president Seamus Sullivan said the celebrations acknowledged the contribution of Irish-Australians and the importance of sharing the Irish heritage.

“Sometimes I think they are more Irish than the ones in Ireland,” he said.

A Leprechaun greeting the crowd.

A Leprechaun greeting the crowd.Credit:Jocelyn Garcia

“The Irish-Australians appreciate that background and share our culture with others far more.”

Mr Sullivan said the parade was resurrected by the late Jan Dooley, who was an honorary ambassador of Brisbane, with her husband Dr Tom Dooley in 1989.

“The legacy she has left is something we need to continue because she passed away sadly a few months after the parade last year,” he said.

“She was our first patron and it is so important to remember her after she fought to reignite this tradition.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the parade had become one of the city’s most iconic events thanks to Ms Dooley.

“Jan was one of Brisbane’s wonderful personalities without whom the parade would not be taking place,” she said.

“She was the driving force behind the event resuming after its 50-year break, originally enforced by the onset of World War II.”

Celebrations would continue until Sunday.

Jocelyn Garcia is a journalist at the Brisbane Times, covering breaking news.

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