St Patrick's Day celebrated across NI

Published Monday, 17 March 2014
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Parades have taken place across Northern Ireland to mark St Patrick's Day.

St Patrick's Day celebrated across NI
Thousands gather at the St Patrick's Day parade in Downpatrick (© Pacemaker)

Thousands of people attended the celebrations in Downpatrick, Newry, Armagh, Omagh, Strabane, Enniskillen and Londonderry on Monday.

One of Ireland's largest events took place in Dublin city centre where ornately decorated floats dedicated to the Patron Saint passed along the 1.6 mile route from O'Connell Street to St Patrick's Cathedral, watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

It comes after Belfast celebrated St Pat's on Sunday with a massive carnival parade and concert which Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir described as the city's biggest ever.

Meanwhile hundreds of famous landmarks around the world, including the Great Wall of China and the Rhine Falls, have been lit up green as part of Tourism Ireland's Global Greening 2014.

Around 30,000 people filled the streets of Downpatrick, the town which claims St Patrick as their own, as one of NI's biggest parades made its way from Ardglass Road to Rathkeltair House, following a re-enactment of the saint's journey up the River Slaney.

Dr Tim Campbell, director of the town's St Patrick's Centre, said: "We've taken the politics out of the day, and many other towns are following in our footsteps. We just want people to have a fun day."

In Armagh, over 15,000 people were expected to turn out for a colourful procession starting at Palace Demense and passing along to city centre.

It featured a variety of floats, marching bands and street performers.

Lord Mayor, Robert Turner, said: "There is always an amazing buzz across the City for this celebratory event and it's great to see so many people, young and old get involved."

Omagh's parade and open air concert on Monday came as the highlight of a two week festival. Its theme was 'Connecting Cultures' and it began at Omagh House.

Meanwhile in Derry the streets were filled with costumed revellers as over 30 groups from across the North West joined forces for the St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival Parade.

And thousands lined the streets of Newry for a cross-community parade which encouraged voluntary, youth and school groups to get involved in making floats.

The flagship parade in Dublin was one of the largest in the world and footage was streamed online to a global audience and an Irish diaspora of about 70 million.

President Michael D Higgins said: "Today we celebrate our wider and diverse Irish family, to whom we remain connected by a strong cultural heritage and history.

"Today is a special day for all those Irish communities great and small across the world that come together in a spirit of pride and joy to celebrate their identity and their links of affinity and affection with their homeland of origin."

There was also a huge turnout in Limerick City where about 70,000 people saw the parade.

In England, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Irish Guards at their base in Aldershot to mark St Patrick's Day.

William, who is the regiment's Colonel, provided an update on baby son George and said he had started crawling. But he added that there are no plans just yet for another addition to the family.

Meanwhile, Kate presented sprigs of shamrocks to around 300 soldiers on parade and honoured the regimental mascot, Irish wolf hound Domhnall, with his own bunch of the well known plant.

© UTV News
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47 Comments
A level RE student in Lurgan wrote (166 days ago):
Here is a quote from St Patricks letter to Coroticus in a blistering attack on the English clergy "for them it is a disgrace that WE are Irish" he was born in the far North of Britain, was a Roman, Britishness as we have come to understand it today did not come about, he was born in Britain aye but he adopted Ireland as his homeland, and clearly stood with them in the face of the racism and bigotry that they were facing (and by the looks of the comments still face)seeing as he was a foreigner who adopted the Irish as his own people is it not fitting that we have just 1 day to celebarte our culture and faith (it is a RC feast day) when you have the whole summer and beyond to do it???
petand in Londonderry wrote (167 days ago):
@John in Perth. Sorry my friend Patrick was not Scottish as a Scot in those days was an Irishman.He was the son of Romanised Britons but it is not clear which part of western Britain he did came from. It could have been Cornwall, Wales Cumbria or Strathclyde. He was not however a Saxon therefore the English cannot claim him. As a Briton, his DNA would have been very similar to all the indiginous countries of these islands thereby belonging to all of the Celtic fringe.
Royal Irish in Northern Ireland, UK wrote (168 days ago):
Calm down, it's confirmed , King Billy did play for rangers, 16 goals 90 appearances . On that , I thought rangers were a club associated with orangeism , hence rangers tops on the 12th, as for st Patrick, he was from Scotland, so, did he play for Celtic or not.......I love my life travelling the world, real Irish lol.
seanie in dungannon wrote (168 days ago):
andy union jack the flag of GB not NI.
ady in Tyrone wrote (168 days ago):
Flag of St Patrick my arch ! No such thing ! A heraldic device dreamt up in 1783 by George III of England. ps @ No punctuation norman d ...Why do some of us choose to celebrate Christian festivals here,After all "he was not even born here and came from a different country"!Also your mate Jesus' first miracle involved him making a few cases of Jacobs Creek for a wedding bash-up !
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