5 Mar, 2017


Irish sailor and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy (27), from Dublin, has been selected by St. Patrick’s Festival to lead this year’s spectacular Festival Parade which will wind its way through the streets of the capital on March 17th. The young sports star was chosen in recognition of her outstanding achievement at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, her contribution to Irish sport and her courage and determination to succeed on the world stage in her sport.

Murphy, one of Ireland’s elite athletes first got a taste of sailing when she was just five years old with her parents and has been on the water ever since.  In 2009 she took the U21 World Championship and since then has focused entirely on competitive sailing. After a heartbreaking fourth place finish in London 2012, Annalise fought back to become European Champion in 2013 and then came the ultimate redemption in 2016 that richly deserved Olympic Silver medal.

Annalise Murphy will join the illustrious ranks of previous Grand Marshals such as Joanne O’Riordan, Brendan O’Carroll, Katie Taylor, Packie Bonner and Johnny Giles to name but a few.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr said, “I would like to congratulate Annalise on the honour of being selected as the 2017 Grand Marshal. She is a fantastic ambassador for Irish sport and she brought joy to the country as we watched her claim the silver medal following an intense medal race in Rio.”

On receiving the honour of Grand Marshal, Annalise said; “I am really honoured and thrilled to be this year’s Grand Marshal.  I am always extremely proud to represent Ireland but that is normally out on the water, so this will be a completely different experience for me.  The Parade is always a great day and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Susan Kirby, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival commented; “We are thrilled to announce Annalise as the Grand Marshal for the 2017 St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. Annalise’s achievements to date are an example of the ability of a strong will and determination and she is a great ambassador for Ireland.  We wish Annalise the best of luck in her role and we hope she enjoys every minute of the experience.”

Noel John McLoughlin, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing commented; “After such a successful Rio 2016, we are delighted to hear that Annalise Murphy has been selected as this year’s Grand Marshal and wish her all the very best for the big day. We continue to support St Patrick’s Festival - such an iconic and popular event on the tourism calendar and one which always kick-starts the tourist season in style.”

Ireland you are… is the theme of this year’s Festival, which is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs.

The full programme of events for St. Patrick’s Festival is available on
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