"Many of these have a special connection with Ireland and we want to celebrate and recognise this" she said.
"Mark Hamill has played another role too, for which all along the Wild Atlantic Way are deeply grateful, in promoting the now iconic route and Tourism Ireland's "Star Wars campaign" and films with Mark Hamill praising of Irish hospitality have been seen by some 8m people around the world". With this year's special guest, we will have an extra bit of magic for this wonderful showcase for an Irish welcome.
Hamill, famous for playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, will be the festival's first global guest of honour and will watch the parade from the Presidential stand.
It is wonderful news that Mark Hamill will be the inaugural International Guest of Honour for this year's St Patrick's Festival.
Showdown on Crait, shows the process of how the idea for the foxes came to be, how the design process evolved, and how both practical and digital effects artists worked together to bring the elegant creatures to the big screen.
Mark also has family links to Ireland as his great-grandmother Elizabeth Keating was born in Kilkenny in the 1800s. These are Mark's great-great-grandparents.
The festival which takes place from 15th to 19th of March, celebrates the Irish national holiday with a global impact and have this year selected the legendary Star Wars actor as their worldwide guest.
The parade will feature over 2,000 members of marching bands from across the country, floats, and performers, as it makes its way through the city.