The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team has been chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2023 National St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland.
Team Manager Vera Pauw, experienced defender Diane Caldwell, and former international Paula Gorham will represent the team and lead out the national parade in Dublin on Friday, March 17.
We are delighted to announce the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team, represented by Team Manager @verapauw, as Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2023!
Pictured are Vera Pauw with under 10's players from
📷Sasko Lazarov#SPF23 pic.twitter.com/jvbkXdewi7— St. Patrick's Festival 🇮🇪🐍☘️💚 (@stpatricksfest) March 6, 2023
In September 2022, Ireland's Women’s National Football Team secured a spot in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifying Play-Offs for the first time, beating Finland 1-0 with a goal from Lily Agg in front of a record crowd of 6,592.
This achievement was soon surpassed when Ireland won the play-off final 1–0 over Scotland in Glasgow the following month with a stunning goal from Amber Barrett securing qualification for the final tournament.
Parade organizers say that the entire squad reflects the very best of Ireland’s strength, perseverance, and sporting achievement and acts as an inspiration for fans young and old across Ireland.
Pauw has been there through it all to help the Women’s National team achieve these successes, not only leading them to their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup, but also helping them to achieve their highest-ever position in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, secure their biggest ever win, equal their best ever away result, set a new home attendance record and also introduced an equal pay structure for the players. Her efforts were recognized as she claimed the Manager of the Year at the 2022 RTE Sports Awards, the first woman to ever win this award.
Caldwell, who has represented the Ireland Women’s Team on 93 occasions, has been there through it all since making her debut in 2006. The Dublin native has played professionally in Iceland, Norway, Germany, the United States, and now in England with Reading. She has been a key part of Pauw’s defensive unit – including playing in that famous win over Scotland last November – and has helped to raise standards by being part of the players’ group that helped to introduce an equal pay structure for the players.
Gorham is a legendary figure in women’s football in Ireland after scoring a hat-trick on her Ireland Women’s Team debut – as a 16-year-old – in the country’s first-ever women’s international when they beat Wales 3-2 in May 1973. As the 50th year anniversary of the team rolls closer, Gorham has remained a positive ambassador for the game and can be seen and heard at home games in Tallaght Stadium cheering on the Girls in Green.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy said she thinks it is "particularly fitting that this year’s Grand Marshal is the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team.
"They have been an inspiration to us all and we’ll be following their progress closely at the World Cup later this year.”
Pauw said: “What a year 2023 will be for women’s football in Ireland but also for the country as a whole because we celebrate our success together. The achievement of this team is incredible but we know that we wouldn’t have made it without the fantastic support of the Irish people, from all around the world.
"So it is a huge honour for the team to be named as Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade before we fly to Australia this summer to do the nation proud at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
"I feel extremely lucky to represent the squad and will be especially looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces on March 17th.”
St. Patrick’s Festival CEO Richard Tierney said: “This year’s Parade is shaping up to be the biggest and brightest National St. Patrick’s Day Parade ever. We’re honoured to have Vera, Diane, and Paula representing the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team as our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. Their hard work and dedication to their game is reflective of the efforts of people up and down the country and beyond as they put the final touches to their performances and get ready to showcase their talents for us all to enjoy on March 17th.”
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals, Fáilte Ireland, said: “St Patrick’s Festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the best of Ireland so it is fitting to have the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team lead out this year’s parade in Dublin.
"This year’s St. Patrick’s Festival is due to be the biggest yet and will generate an economic impact for Dublin of about €50 million. With the world-class pageantry of the parade and packed programme of wider festival events, the festival not only gives visitors the opportunity to experience the very best of our capital city but also showcases Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to people around the world.”
This year, the National St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns to the streets of Dublin city from 12 noon on Friday, March 17, winding its way from Parnell Square to Kevin St Junction.
The National St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin runs from March 16 to 19, 2023 and is made possible through the continued support of the Government of Ireland, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, and many generous partners and funders.
For full programme details, tickets, and more see StPatricksFestival.ie.