Paddy Drac honoured to be grand marshal at Tallafest
By Mary Dennehy
PADDY Drac is swooping in on Tallaght Village this June 24 to take a bite out of Tallafest – and any unsuspecting local people who don’t watch out!
Living in Tallaght for 45 years, Paddy Finlay, aka Paddy Drac, will be the Tallafest grand marshal on Saturday, June 24 – when the community festival takes to the village to celebrate the area’s past, present and future.
Celebrating his 47th wedding anniversary this week, Paddy moved to Tallaght some 45 years ago with his wife Breda after the company he was working for, Jacob’s Biscuits, announced it was relocating to the area.
“We were living in a flat in town at the time and I remember somebody telling me that there were houses going in Tallaght for £1,000”, Paddy told The Echo.
“That was huge money at the time, we didn’t even have one thousand pennies.
“However, Jacob’s had a credit union at the time and a good few of the workers got homes in Tallaght this way.”
Paddy, who lives in Bawnville, added: “It was kind of creepy coming out to Tallaght back then, there was absolutely nothing around.
“It’s amazing to see how the area has grown and there is so much going on for people of all ages.
“That’s why I think Tallafest is so important. It allows us to celebrate everything in the area and all of the great people that make things happen.
“The festival also brings people together and that’s really important and I think everyone should come along on the day to meet old friends and new friends.
“I’m really honoured to be the festival’s grand marshal and I’ll be looking out for all of those tasty Tallaght necks on the day!”
On Saturday, June 24, Tallafest will set up camp in Tallaght Village and across the grounds of St Mary’s Priory and St Maelruain’s Church of Ireland.
The fun festival boasts a jammed packed programme of kids’ activities, heritage events, sports, arts, crafts, live music, dance, food, market stalls, farm animals, a pop-up Gaeltacht and more.
The festival is looking for 100 young opening ceremony balloon mascots, who are invited to meet at the Victors statue, outside the entrance to the Credit Union, at 12 noon on June 24 – with their supervising adult.
Tara De Buitlear, of the Tallaght Community Council, which organises the event, said: “We are thrilled to have local One Stop Party shop sponsor our balloon release again for the 5th year.
“They use biodegradable materials and help us add a splash of colour into this collaborative part of the opening ceremony.
“To mark his 50th year in volunteering we are also thrilled to have Paddy Drac lead out our parade accompanied by lots of local music and dance groups.”
For further information visit the Tallafest Facebook page for programme details.