PRESS RELEASES

16 Feb, 2015

D’Grand Marshal 2015!

Writer and star of multi-award winning comedy show Mrs. Brown's Boys selected as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick's Festival Parade

16th February 2015:

One of Ireland’s most successful entertainers Brendan O’Carroll has been selected by St. Patrick’s Festival to lead this year’s spectacular Festival Parade which will wind its way through the streets of the capital on March 17th. The Finglas born star was chosen for his outstanding contribution to entertainment in Ireland and abroad.

Brendan O’Carroll writes and stars as Agnes Brown in the TV sitcom and stage productions of Mrs Brown’s Boys.  Mrs Brown’s Boys success has been nothing short of incredible and the global hit has won numerous awards and accolades including three National Television Awards, TV Choice Awards, a Scottish BAFTA, an IFTA award, a TV Times Award and a TV BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy.

The announcement of O’Carroll as Grand Marshal caps off a great year for him, 2014 saw the release of the full length motion picture Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie which was the third highest grossing film of 2014 in the UK and the top grossing film in Ireland and Australia.  Despite the heights he has now reached he says he “still wakes up in the morning thinking that this is the day they will find out I’m really a waiter and not a writer, actor and director, and want their money back”. Away from the camera and stage Brendan has been committed to helping those less fortunate and was recipient of the philanthropist of the year award recently for his work with St Vincent de Paul, amongst others.

On receiving the Grand Marshal honour, Brendan commented: “In asking me to be Grand Marshal of the Dublin Parade, St. Patrick’s Festival have honoured my family and honoured all of us working in Mrs. Brown’s Boys who try to bring a little piece of Dublin humour around the world.  I attended the Dublin Parade in all weathers for over 50 years. From sitting on my sisters’ shoulders to having my own children sitting on mine.  I cannot now believe that I am going to get a moment to lead this wonderful gathering of floats, bands and organisations and shout… “Follow me I know a shortcut up Moore Street!”

CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival, Susan Kirby commented: “We are delighted to announce Brendan O’Carroll as Grand Marshal for this year’s Festival Parade. Brendan has shown his great personality and exceptional talent throughout his whole career but it is safe to say his work in the past few years has been phenomenal. Brendan is a great ambassador for Ireland on a global level through his charm and Dublin wit, we know this means a lot to him and we wish him all the best in his role as Grand Marshal and hope that he enjoys the special experience.”

St. Patrick’s Festival has created a three-year thematic journey of ‘Past, Present and Future’ over the period 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year, leading street theatre and pageant companies will respond to the 2015 Parade theme ‘Celebrate Now’ drawing inspiration for their artistic creations from Ireland’s present, embracing ‘nowness’ and savouring the moment. In 2016 the final installation of the thematic will see the parade look to Ireland’s future and the festival will pose the question, ‘who do we aspire to be in the next 100 years?’
This year’s full programme will be launched on the 24th February and the festival will take place from 14th- 17th March. The four-day St. Patrick’s Festival programme is packed full of free events and festival favourites; Festival Céilí, Festival Treasure Hunt, Céilí House Live in Concert and Festival Big Day Out and culminating at the awe-inspiring Festival Parade on Monday, March 17th. This years I Love My City programme of city-wide events will be an exciting series of engaging and intimate cultural events and happenings curated by the Festival and staged in some of Dublin’s most beautiful, historic and prestigious cultural venues and spaces, a showcase of all that is great about Ireland at the time of the festival.


For more information visit www.stpatricksfestival.ie, download the app, or join the Festival’s official Facebook and Twitter pages.

ENDS

Elle Caffrey, FleishmanHillard, on 01 6188435 / 0872447146 or elle.caffrey@fleishmaneurope.com


NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:

Brendan O’Carroll Biography
Brendan was brought up in Finglas. He’s the youngest of eleven children. His mother Maureen was the first female Labour TD elected to the Dail and was Labour’s chief whip from 1954 - 57.

Brendan did his first stand-up show when he was 35. For the previous 22 years he worked as a waiter.

Brendan has made and lost a fortune over the last 25 years. Despite the heights he has now reached he says he “still wakes up in the morning thinking that this is the day they will find out I’m really a waiter and not a writer, actor and director, and want their money back”.

Brendan left school at age twelve because of his dyslexia, but he says “being a writer is not being able to spell properly. Those things you can learn. Being a writer is about being able to tell a story and you can’t learn that”.

A little known fact about Brendan. Despite being dyslexic Brendan has an IQ that places him in the top 2% of the country’s population and is a member of Mensa

About St. Patrick’s Festival
St. Patrick’s Festival Principal Funders are: The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and The Department of Arts, Heritage & The Gaeltacht.

The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the Irish people would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background. As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.

Why was it started? 
• To offer a national festival that ranks as one of the greatest celebrations in the world
• To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity and grassroots involvement, and marketing activity
• To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations
• To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.

The first St Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. The live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.

Preparation for the first St Patrick’s Festival used to take only 5 months, but with the growth of the Festival, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.

The 2013 St. Patrick’s Festival added €122 million to the Irish economy.