Birmingham Irish Association ‘pleased’ to become custodians of city’s St Patrick’s Parade

Birmingham Irish Association ‘pleased’ to become custodians of city’s St Patrick’s Parade

THE Birmingham Irish Association (BIA) has taken up responsibility for the city’s annual St Patrick’s Parade, it has been confirmed.

The move follows the disbandment of the former St Patrick’s Festival Birmingham Organising Committee.

Confirming the handover of responsibilities, BIA Chief Executive Maurice Malone told the Irish Post they are in the early stages of reviewing the plans for 2023.

He added that the parade could not take place along its usual route in Digbeth due to ongoing roadworks in the area.

“I can confirm The Birmingham Irish Association (BIA) are now pleased to be the custodians of the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade,” Mr Malone told The Irish Post this afternoon.

"The Birmingham Irish Association will now take time to review the St Patrick’s Day Parade, but this review is in its early stages and no decisions have been made.

“We are considering a low-key community event which will be subject to a Safety Advisory Group process and agreement.”

He added: "The Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade will not be held in Digbeth in 2023, due to the ongoing redevelopment of the High Street."

Traditionally one of the largest parades in Britain, the Birmingham celebrations marking St Patrick’s Day have long been a highlight on the calendar of the Irish community in the city and across the West Midlands.

The annual parade, which last took place in 2019, ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, regularly draws crowds of 80,000 revellers to the streets of Birmingham.

In 2022 the event was unable to take place due to the ongoing redevelopment of Digbeth high street, which is traditionally a focal point for the parade route.

But the bustling St Patrick's Festival element of the annual celebrations still took place, offering a week of events marking the big day - including live music gigs, concerts and traditional Irish sessions, as well as whiskey and beer tasting, history talks and storytelling evenings.