The midlands town of Athlone celebrates 300 years since the famous siege of 1691.

Thousands of people looked on as over fifty floats took part in the parade marking the opening of a week long celebration.

The siege of Athlone today was a happier affair than that 300 years ago.

The restoration of Athlone Castle was completed in time for the festivities and includes an audio visual theatre reliving the history of the town since the 12th century.

A Madame Tussaud's type experience that truly brings history alive.

The ceremony was attended by Minister for Education and Athlone native Mary O'Rourke. Also in attendance was Martin Dully of Bord Fáilte who sees the event as the beginning of a revival of Athlone's greatness.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 June 1991. The reporter is Gerry Reynolds.