Spoiler alert: It’s more than one person
Ever since the announcement of Patrick Duffy as the guest of honour for this year’s National St Patrick’s Day Parade, we have been waiting to hear who the grand marshal will be. And now we know – the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team!
Team Manager Vera Pauw, experienced defender Diane Caldwell and former international Paula Gorham will represent the team and lead out the national parade on Friday 17 March.
It’s been an incredible few months for the Irish team. The efforts, skill and determination of the women has seen them reach their first ever FIFA World Cup Finals taking place later this year in Australia and New Zealand. The entire squad reflects the very best of Ireland’s strength, perseverance and sporting achievement and acts as an inspiration for fans young and old across Ireland.
Republic of Ireland National Women’s Team Manager, Vera Pauw:“What a year 2023 will be for women’s football in Ireland but also for the country as a whole because we celebrate our success together. The achievement of this team is incredible but we know that we wouldn’t have made it without the fantastic support of the Irish people, from all around the world. So it is a huge honour for the team to be named as Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade before we fly to Australia this summer to do the nation proud at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. I feel extremely lucky to represent the squad and will be especially looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces on March 17th.”
St. Patrick’s Festival CEO, Richard Tierney: “This year’s Parade is shaping up to be the biggest and brightest National St. Patrick’s Day Parade ever. We’re honoured to have Vera, Diane and Paula representing the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team as our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. Their hard work and dedication to their game is reflective of the efforts of people up and down the country and beyond as they put the final touches to their performances and get ready to showcase their talents for us all to enjoy on March 17th.”
More about the Marshal(s)
Team Manager Vera Pauw has been there through it all to help the Women’s National team achieve these successes. She lead them to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup, helped them to achieve their highest ever position in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, secure their biggest ever win, equal their best ever away result, set a new home attendance record and she introduced an equal pay structure for the players.
Diane Caldwell, who has represented the Ireland Women’s Team on 93 occasions, has been there through it all since making her debut in 2006. The Dublin native has played professionally in Iceland, Norway, Germany, United States and now in England with Reading. She has been a key part of Pauw’s defensive unit – including playing in that famous win over Scotland last November. She also helped to raise standards by being part of the players’ group that helped to introduce an equal pay structure for the players.
Paula Gorham is a legendary figure in women’s football in Ireland. At the age of 16, she scored a hat-trick on her Ireland Women’s Team debut, in the country’s first ever women’s international when they beat Wales 3-2 in May 1973. As the 50th year anniversary of the team rolls closer, Paula has remained a positive ambassador for the game and can be seen and heard at home games in Tallaght Stadium cheering on the Girls in Green.
For full programme details, tickets and more see www.stpatricksfestival.ie