OVER 900 primary school pupils paraded through the streets of Castlebar this morning in support of Castlebar Mitchels who face Ballyboden St. Enda's in tomorrow's AIB All Ireland Club SFC final at Croke Park.
All donning the club's red and yellow colours and some carrying flags, ballons and bunting, they assembled at St. Patrick's National School at Chapel Street and proceeded through Tucker Street, Linenhall Street, Main Street, Ellison Stret, Duke Street, Market Square and Newtown before returning to their starting point.
Marching to the beat of drums, the children were accompanied by their teachers and parents while members of Castlebar Mitchels, as well as An Garda Siochana, marshalled the route.
Hundreds of local people lined the streets to cheer on the pupils and thank them for providing such early morning colour and cheer ahead of the big game.
The schools involved included St. Patrick's NS, Scoil Raiftéirí, St. Peter's NS, Snugboro and St. Anthony's Special School. There was also a special appearance by Davitt College and their exchange students from Castlebar's twin town of Hoechstadt, Germany.
One of the main organisers, Pat Waldron, described the event as 'a major community success'.
He explained that the chairman of Castlebar Mitchels, Finian Joyce, had approached St. Patrick's Boys NS to plan the parade and they were delighted to do so with the support of two other schools.
"We have staged something similar in the past when Mayo reached the All-Ireland senior football final and we were delighted to do so for Mitchels on this occasion. We wish the manager and players of Mitchels every success tomorrow," added Mr. Waldron.