Dublin celebrates St Patrick's Day

2013-03-17 20:32
(Photo: AFP)

(Photo: AFP)

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Dublin - The luck of the Irish failed to change the miserable weather, but it didn't dampen the spirits of hundreds of thousands of shamrock-wearing revellers who celebrated St Patrick's Day on the wet streets of Dublin on Sunday.

Dublin was awash with green as locals and tourists turned out to the watch a parade and enjoy the "ceol agus craic" (music and fun) of Ireland's national day.

"There's been lots of colour and loads of performers and marching bands this year," said Edelle Moss, chief executive of Ireland's St Patrick's Day Festival.

"We have our largest ever number of international participants in the St Patrick's Day parade with a very strong procession of over 46 different countries," she added.

As part of an initiative called "The Gathering", the government is encouraging people with Irish ancestry, which by some estimates includes up to 60 million people worldwide, to visit the motherland in 2013 in a bid to boost tourism.

A total of 225 000 passengers are expected to pass through Dublin airport over the weekend, while the Dublin Chamber of Commerce expects city companies to bring in €50m from the festivities, in a welcome boost to the struggling eurozone economy.

Across the world, some 70 landmarks from Egypt's pyramids to the Sydney Opera House have been lit up green in honour of St Patrick's Day.

In Dublin, the Guinness brewer rolled out the "green carpet" to everyone with the name Patrick, welcoming them for free into their factory tour on the banks of the River Liffey.

People called Patricia, Paddy, Padraig, Trish, Tricia or Patsy were also given the VIP treatment.

The annual All-Ireland club finals of the Celtic nation's national sports, hurling and gaelic football, attracted thousands of supporters to the city's Croke Park stadium.

While many took refuge from the weather in Dublin’s pubs to have a few glasses of the "black stuff", organisers worked hard to take the focus away from alcohol.


Read more on:    ireland

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