Dublin's parade has only one Irish band
IRELAND will be outnumbered by 11 marching bands to one in the Dublin St Patrick's Day parade.
A dozen bands will walk the streets of Dublin on Saturday but just one will be from Ireland.
Nine others are flying over from the US, while Russia and the UK will also be represented.
But the Clondalkin Youth Band has insisted that it would do the country proud.
Vincent Dolan, director, told the Herald that they were "just as big, colourful and professional as any American band".
"We've been doing this for 25 years and while there have been other Irish bands over the years, we would be the biggest in Dublin and one of the largest in the country.
"This year, we have 100 members marching and we will be just as good as the best American marching bands. They have a lot of professional assistance whereas there's only me for this band, I teach all the students but their standard is incredible."
Band members, who are aged from 12 to 20, all come from Clondalkin, while Mr Dolan is from Mullingar but has been living in the capital for decades.
"We've worked very hard in preparation for Saturday, we would have started rehearsing the songs that we picked for the parade in January," he said.
"Each student would get about four hours of rehearsals every week and then they would have to practice at home and we also have marching rehearsal.
"We have to be prepared because we're doing the Lucan parade straight after the Dublin parade and then on Sunday, we're off to Limerick for the international band parade." The Clondalkin Youth Band take great pride in the flags and costumes which they believe allow them to stand out from other Irish bands.
Mr Dolan added: "We have very good flag twirlers, there will be 10 of them at the front and they add extra colour to the spectacle over all."