Paddy's Day is quickly approaching, with only weeks until the parade (and that lovely Bank Holiday). Excitement for the upcoming National Parade is also ramping up.

Today it was announced that the stars of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and Olympics, and two of Ireland's most inspirational athletes have been chosen as this years' Grand Marshals for the Parade.

The press release stated, "Ellen and Kellie's achievements represent the very best of Ireland - strength, perseverance and generosity of spirit. They represent all who wear their Irishness with pride, uplifting our people, connecting us as a nation.

"Ellen and Kellie reflect more than sporting achievement, they represent all our people whose talent and commitment to excellence brings pride to Ireland - sportspeople, artists, makers, creators, thinkers, dreamers, innovators, entrepreneurs and many more, from all realms of life."

Both Keane and Harrington are gold medal winners in their respective tournaments. Keane won gold in the 2020 Paralympics for the 100m breaststroke. She was also Ireland's youngest ever athlete at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, aged just 13 at the time.

Keane stated, "I am so excited to be a Grand Marshal alongside Kellie for this year's St. Patrick’s Day Parade. When I was younger and watching the parade in Dublin, I always wanted to be one of the children taking part and now I cannot wait for my childhood dream to come true! I am so honoured and grateful for this opportunity. I know it is a day I will remember for the rest of my life."

Harrington stole our hearts and inspired a nation last summer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She won gold and became Ireland's third Olympic boxing champion.

Harrington said, "Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love this city so I can't wait to be leading the magic through the streets of Dublin and to see all of those faces smiling back at me, having the time of their lives!"

The national parade will make its return this year on March 17. It will also be broadcasted nationally on RTÉ and RTÉ Player.

For full programme details, tickets and more see