Thousands attend annual Wellie Race in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny

AROUND 10,000 people enjoyed the fun and mayhem of the 33rd annual Wellie Race in Castlecomer this afternoon writes Sean Keane. And one float in the hour long parade hit home as it passed the review stand where politicians were seated including chairman of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), John McGuinness. It said bring back coal mining to Castlecomer and it comes at a time when a number of interested parties are thinking of re-opening the mines.

AROUND 10,000 people enjoyed the fun and mayhem of the 33rd annual Wellie Race in Castlecomer this afternoon writes Sean Keane. And one float in the hour long parade hit home as it passed the review stand where politicians were seated including chairman of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), John McGuinness. It said bring back coal mining to Castlecomer and it comes at a time when a number of interested parties are thinking of re-opening the mines.

The emphasis was on fun and the Major Regrets were probably the ugliest and biggest boobed majorettes ever seen and they seemed to get away with molesting one of the gardai on traffic duty for the event and the balloon chested ladies,complete with long pink drawers, hugged anyone that came near them.

There was a great round of applause for the float, “Knockadogue brings Southfork to ‘Comer” which remembered US actor, Larry Hagman, who played JR Ewing in Dallas and who passed away a few months ago. It boasted a metal drill attached to a mechanical digger while JR look-alike, Andy Shea, with trademark sunglasses had a word for everyone. A rather plain looking Sue Ellen was played by Paddy Cox jnr didn’t look too happy. Bobby Ewing played by Paddy Cox snr was busy testing the road surface for oil.

The biggest cheer was reserved for the Powley Vale Strong Man float with a rather weak looking individual pulling a tractor and trailer and number of “strongmen” on the float, lifting enormous looking weights including the 2 ton power lift, the beer barrel challenge. The main sign on the float stated: “For ultimate relief a rub of Powley water” and up the rear was a man pulling a cart with a horse in it.

And the Mothers4Gaelic Football who were stranded in New York during the recent Hurricane Sandy there had a very apt float complete with skyscraper and they had a live interview with Barack Obama.

And nostalgia was provided by Kilkenny city publican, Paddy Leydon and John Joe Cullen. Their float was a reconstruction of Beal Na Blath complete with high nellies and it went down a treat with the crowd. Even Mrs Brown turned up, hatchet in hand, ready to strikeher wheelchair bound granny.

Deputy John McGuinness paid tribute to the organisers and said it provided the town and North Kilkenny with as sense of community and said that what had been achieved through the Wellie Race should be replicated in every other part of the country.

“Last year they raised E30,000 which was given to local charities and there is great credit to Chubby Brennan and all the volunteers who put so much effort into making the Wellie Race, what it is, a breath of fresh air where people come first.,” Deputy McGuinness said.