Derry Journal Review of the Year 2022: March

For the first time in three years, tens of thousands gathered as Derry, Strabane and Inishowen hosted St Patrick’s Day parades and events across the north west in March.

Derry's Spring Carnival parade saw local community and sporting organisations join in the fun as colourful characters entertained the crowds.

The festive procession snaked its way from Bishop Street down through the city centre as those gathered along the pavements formed a sea of green as they dressed in the colour of the occasion.

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Thousands more people gathered in Strabane and at Buncrana and Moville in Inishowen to witness the parades there.

St Patrick's Day in Derry.

Back in Derry, many people stayed in the city centre to witness the ‘About Us' festival which was held at the same time.

Also in March, Derry lost one of its most treasured local clergy with the sad passing of Fr Paddy O’Kane.

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His death was confirmed in a statement issued via the Derry Diocese / St Eugene’s Cathedral.

Fr Paddy, a native of Culdaff in Inishowen, served the parishes of Moville, St Eugene’s Cathedral, Melmount and Holy Family, Ballymagroarty.

Fr Paddy O'Kane. (1312SL08)

The beloved priest was laid to rest in his native Culdaff after Requiem Mass at Holy Family.

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A tribute left outside the parochial house summed up the feelings of many with its simple message: ‘R.I.P. The People’s Priest’.

Meanwhile a warning was issued in March that people in dire straights should not be left at the mercy of ‘loan sharks', a former local community worker warned.

Frankie McMenamin’s comments came as Advice NI revealed that there has been what they termed a ‘staggering rise' in the number of people seeking advice due to debt.