Downpatrick set for arrival of St Pat

Downpatrick set for arrival of St Pat

Downpatrick is preparing to mark St Patrick's Day by staging a re-enactment of the saintly visitor's arrival in Ireland.

The event on Monday will depict St Patrick's journey up the River Slaney, before coming ashore near the Co Down town which now claims him as their own.It aims to give a feel for what the patron saint's arrival would have been like 1,500 years ago."We have the real deal here in Downpatrick - we have St Patrick's grave and we have all the history of all the things he's done," said SDLP councillor Patsy Toman."I hope people will come to Downpatrick for the festival on St Patrick's Day."St Patrick was first brought to Ireland by pirates and was enslaved for six years before escaping back to Britain. He later returned as a missionary.The re-enactment, which has been organised by Down District Council, will involve more than 60 people and feeds into the main parade through Downpatrick.Michael Lipsett from the council said: "On St Patrick's Day morning at 11am you'll be able to see the re-enactment, you'll be able to see Patrick arriving and coming up into the village."If you want to experience that you can go to the Down District Council offices and there's a free shuttle bus from there that will take you down to where St Patrick actually landed."Towns and cities right across Northern Ireland will be marking St Patrick's Day this weekend, including Belfast where a parade and concerts are set to take place on Sunday.

© UTV

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