*Joe Buckley salutes the crowd in Thomond Park. Photograph: Ivan O’Riordan

SHANNON ICON Joe Buckley has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the town’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.

A warm and affable figure in Shannon, Joe was selected via public vote to be the Grand Marshal for the 2023 St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Limerick native, Joe moved to Shannon in 1973. He is married to Pat (née O’Mara), they have three children, Keith, Michelle and Susan and four grand-children Conor, Harry, Cillian and Isla.

For twenty one years, Joe worked in Lana-Knit where he was never shy to take on a double-shift. His level of workrate has been visible and his sharp-wit audible ever since he arrived in Co Clare with his photography helping to capture Shannon’s history over the last five decades where he has been a constant presence at community fundraisers, sporting encounters and public meetings.

After finishing up with Lana-Knit, Joe was heavily involved with The Clare Courier, a former newspaper which was led by his friend Eugene McCafferty.

Since The Courier’s closure, Joe has been a vital member of The Clare Echo’s team, serving as the paper’s delivery man in the town of Shannon while his photography has enriched our coverage of local matters.

Joe Buckley on his bike for the 2022 St Patrick’s Day Parade in Shannon. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Joe admitted he was “shocked” when he received a phone call from Gerry Murphy to inform he had been selected as Grand Marshal. “I never expected it, they had a poll which I didn’t know about. I’d be known for taking photographs all over Shannon but I’ve never really been involved with any organisations or groups so this is a very big surprise”.

“This year is my fiftieth year living in Shannon so I guess it is a good year to have it,” he quipped of the recognition.

Ordinarily St Patrick’s Day is a very busy occasion for Joe who is kept on his toes or as was the case last year on his bike racing around to take as many photographs in Shannon and Sixmilebridge. The 2023 Parade “will be very different,” he acknowledged. “I’ve been warned not to bring a camera so that will be unusual”.

Organisers of the Parade noted how Joe has contributed a huge amount to the town of Shannon, helping to weave its fabric, describing him as “a truly wonderful man and will make a fantastic Grand Marshal”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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