Following a period of uncertainty, it has been confirmed that the small, cross community committee of volunteers will be returning next year to help organise the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Enniskillen next year.

In April of this year, it was reported that a parade in Enniskillen would be unlikely unless the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council committed to providing £25,000 of funding.

Council minutes revealed that the volunteer Project St. Patrick committee, who organise the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Enniskillen, were "disillusioned" and seriously contemplated resigning in February when they learned that they have been allocated £16,500 for next year’s event, while Council-run events in Omagh will be funded to the tune of £23,500.

The £7,000 funding discrepancy was discussed during a meeting between Project St. Patrick and Council officials earlier this year. A subsequent letter from Project St. Patrick to the Council’s Director of Regeneration and Community, Robert Gibson says that the shortfall “leaves the Enniskillen festival at a big disadvantage.”

However, progress has been made and it has been announced that the parade on Sunday March 17 will have an environmental theme of 'Go Green in 19' although the details of funding and assistance have not been released.

"Project St.Patrick Committee members are very grateful to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for their continued support and to Enniskillen BID who’s grant assistance of £2,000 means we will be able to promote the event to visitors further afield and together we can all help put our St. Patrick’s Day truly on the tourist map," said Project St. Patrick chairman Fergal Shannon.And the Project St. Patrick committee are encouraging schools, community groups, businesses and other organisations to embrace the theme.

It will give people the opportunity to showcase their environmental credentials and for non-profit organisations there will be bursaries available to make their dream float a reality.

The organising committee are very keen to see the larger Fermanagh business getting involved as part of their commitment to Sustainability Goals 2020 with Balcas already having signed up.

The parade promises to be a riot of colour and music to suit all tastes as well as the usual entertainment and freebies galore.

Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, said: "St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Enniskillen bring together people from many different communities, attracts visitors to the area and benefits local business.

"Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is pleased to continue to work in partnership with Project St. Patrick and to continue and indeed enhance its support of St Patrick's Day celebrations in Enniskillen."

For anybody interested in taking part the committee are available to provide advice on the theme and can match businesses together if they wish and with six months to go they are calling on those thinking of entering the parade to get creative.

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