Statue of prominent Irish Augustan gets festive in honor of St. Patrick’s Day

Augusta’s Irish community started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day last month and on March 16, members added one more festive detail as they decorated a statue to one of the city’s most prominent Irish leaders.

The statue of Patrick Walsh is wearing green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Sen. Patrick Walsh was a great American; he was a great Irishman,” said U.S. District Court Senior Judge Dudley Bowen Jr. to the small group of Irish American Heritage Society dignitaries who were allowed on the courthouse grounds to have photos made with the statue adorned with a top hat and sash.

The likeness of Walsh stands at 9½ feet tall on its towering pedestal. Finding a hat to fit his size 12 head with its bronze hair was not an easy task, but a sheet rock mud bucket did the job.

“A top hat was typical to that period of his life. A man of humor, he would not have been offended by wearing the top hat,” Bowen said.

The statue of Walsh is a stone’s throw away from the Church of the Most Holy Trinity where members of the Irish community will gather for a noon mass prior to the start of the annual parade, which Walsh will officiate from his perch as it passes on its way to Broad Street.

At one time, the church was known as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

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“On this day, the church allows us to call it St. Patrick’s” once again, said Sean Mooney, treasurer of the Irish American Heritage Society.

The parade will start at 2 p.m.

Flowers adorn Patrick Walsh’s grave at Magnolia Cemetery. Photo courtesy Kevin de l’Aigle.

Mooney said last year the parade featured 130 entries.

“We’re at 92 this morning. We usually get 30 to 40 on the day of. I’m thinking with it being a Friday, we’ll have 40-50,” he said.

After the parade, the Irish group has its own festivities while the city of Augusta will celebrate at the Augusta Common with vendors, musicians and a family fun zone.

 The group has had several events including the grand marshal ball in February and the Irish Lady tea. A grand marshal breakfast will be prior to the mass, and members will top the weekend off with a golf tournament March 19.

 “This and Arts in the Heart are two of our larger community outreach events,” said Mooney.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the newsletter here

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