Irish tradition on the Costa del Sol
Yesterday, more than a thousand people took part in a huge party in La Paloma park in Benalmádena to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
The Irish Association of Spain, an organisation formed in 1997 to assist Irish nationals who live in, or visit Spain during their holidays, organised this popular party; an event that was attended by tourists from as far as Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Kilkenny, as well as members of the local expatriate community.
A morning mass kicked off the celebrations at the Inmaculada Concepcíon parish church in Arroyo de la Miel.
There was a procession from the church to the fairground in Paloma Park, where hundreds of people had gathered to celebrate the biggest saint’s day celebration worldwide.
Ana Scherman, councillor for foreign residents, opened the proceedings with a speech in which she said that the Irish community was one of the biggest, and most important, expat communities in the area.
Father Daly, Catholic priest from the Church of the Immaculate Conception, also spoke at the opening, and he delighted the crowd by saying: “Now the religious ceremony is over, we can all relax and enjoy the party!”
This year, The Irish Association of Spain invited Cudeca to participate in the proceedings.
A representative of the hospice organisation said: “We are so grateful to the local Irish population and overwhelmed by their generosity; our collection boxes are full this afternoon.”
A sea of green
A vibrating sea of green hats, coloured wigs and shamrocks enjoyed a performance by The Celtic Dancers, a dance group made up of a mixture of Irish and Spanish performers who entertained the crowd with their energetic interpretations of modern Irish dancing.
Patrick and Mary O’Donnell from Dublin told SUR in English that this was the second time they had come to Benalmádena for this celebration.
“We came last year, but unfortunately the weather was dreadful, but this year the sun is shining and we are having the time of our lives,” the couple said.
Revellers could sample some of ‘the best Guinness in the area’ as well as Irish beef burgers, hotdogs and Coddle, a traditional stew of sausages, pork and bacon, normally found only in Dublin.
A wide selection of bands, dancers and singers - soruce surinenglish