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Whether it’s a day to celebrate all things Irish or just the chance to enjoy some time off work, here’s to having a good 17 March.

We’re going to be following all the Patrick’s Day happenings around the country as they happen.

Got photos or videos or anything Patrick’s Day-related? Send ‘em our way: mail christine@thejournal.ie, tweet us @thejournal_ie or let us know in the comments below.

Let’s start with a reminder that not everyone is crazy about Patrick’s Day.

This video of a Dublin man interviewed by TV3′s Midday programme about his thoughts on the day has been going viral overnight, with more than 3,300 shares so far.

The highlight: “All these Americans love Ireland? They do in my *extended beep*”.

But for a bit of balance, Aer Lingus got Mundy to perform Galway Girl in Terminal 2 to celebrate all things Patrick’s Day – and the staff got involved too, handing out flags, pom poms and big green hats to the audience. Bless.

Favourite moment of the video: the woman who manages to dance along, even though she’s on crutches. Serious kudos.

Planning on heading in to one of the parades today? Here are the start-times for the biggest parades.

Dublin: Starts at 12 noon and runs from Parnell Square to St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Cork: Starts at 1pm and runs from the South Mall to Merchant’s Quayt. 

Galway: Starts at 11.30am from Fr Griffin Road to Eyre Square. 

Limerick City: Starts at 12 noon through O’Connell Street. 

Waterford: Starts at 1pm on the Quay. 

Belfast: Starts at 12 noon at City Hall. 

President Michael D Higgins has made this Patrick’s Day address in which he talks about what it means to be Irish and what the country has achieved, and ties it in to the aspirations of the 1916 Proclamation.

As we come together to celebrate our Irishness on our national day, it is appropriate that we not only recall our founding moments, but also take the opportunity to imagine what Ireland might yet become.

We must ask ourselves how we might best use that freedom which was handed down to us by previous generations in such a way as will serve all of our people.

Source: Áras an Uachtaráin/YouTube

The Defence Forces will have 415 Irish soldiers deployed overseas today.

They will be in 15 different countries on 14 different peace missions. They are in Mali, Kosovo, Lebanon, DR Congo to name but a few.

Yesterday, the troops at Camp Ziouani in the Golan Heights received the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) Medal.

Here’s what the medals look like.

25832644905_897f0a0aed_z Source: Irish Defence Forces via Flickr/CC

If you’re just stirring now, spare a thought for people in Dingle who got up early this morning  for their parade which kicked off at 6am.

The unusual start-time apparently dates back to the 1870s when parades were banned between sunrise and sunset, according to RTE/TG4 journalist Seán Mac an tSíthigh.

Several hundred people – including Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae – turned out for the parade, which ended at St Mary’s Church at 7am. Commenter Fafa Flute was also there:


All-important weather update: Met Éireann has said the magic words – there’s going to be good sunny intervals across the country today. Good sunny intervals! That’s practically meterological speak for summer. Here’s the full forecast.


Temperatures are going to be between 8 and 11 degrees, so don’t get too carried away and do bring some warm clothes if you’re going to be standing around for hours at a parade today.

Ceejay McArdle is a 3-year-old boy from Castleblayney in Monaghan who is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. Ceejay dreams of being a garda when he’s all grown up, and police officers around the world have been sending Ceejay messages of support on the Facebook page set up for him ever since he got sick.

Last night, he got this photograph from the NYPD wishing Ceejay a happy St Patrick’s Day. Lovely.

For anyone planning on travelling around Dublin city today, Dublin City Council has put together this list of temporary road closures so you don’t get caught out (unlike me, who had to lace it down Francis Street at an ungodly hour this morning because the diversions had started earlier than I’d expected).

Here’s the full list.

St Patric's Day parade

Safe to say this St Patrick’s Day message from Lewisham police in south London is the most unusual one we’ve seen today (not least because it depicts a four-leaf clover rather than a shamrock…).

Any thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.

lewisham images

Spare a thought for the people working on the frontlines of the parades today.

Aoife Clarke sent us in this photo of members of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps getting ready to head into the parade in Dublin city to provide first aid and medical assistance for the day.

order of malta

Aoife wrote:

All around the country Order of Malta Ambulance Corps Units are providing similar services in their local communities as well as marching in the parades.

All these members are highly trained volunteers and are giving their time to ensure people are provided with the highest quality care, should they unfortunately need it.  They do it all with a smile on their face :)

Give ‘em a wave if you spot them around any of the parades.

Slightly jealous of Elaine Rooney Greensit’s Patrick’s Day:


We can almost feel the sunshine on our skin. Almost.

Thanks to Claire Coleman for sending in this pic of little Holly-Mai Darmody in Blackrock, Co Dublin who is all set for St Patrick’s Day. Very cool wig, Holly-Mai.

St Patrick's Day Source: Claire Coleman

Got any Patrick’s Day photos? Send them our way – mail christine@thejournal.ie.

It’s become a bit of a regular event now that well-known landmarks around the world are lit up with green lights for St Patrick’s Day.

It began seven years ago and this year 190 major landmarks and sites are taking part.

This time around, there’s the Great Wall of China…

… and the London Eye…

… and the Colesseum, which looks particularly spectacular…

… and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

That’s just four out of around 190 landmarks which have gone green for today. There’s also the Empire State Building, the welcome sign in Las Vegas, the Roue de Paris big wheel in the Tuileries Gardens and the light rail system in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (you can see the full list here).

They really kick things off early in Kerry.

We saw the 6am parade earlier on, and now Gerald Hogan of DinglePhoto.com has sent us in this video of the midnight parade which took place in the Dingle Peninsula, which includes pitchforks with burning sods of turf on them to help light the way.

Source: WildAtlantic DinglePeninsula/YouTube

How good are you at explaining what St Patrick’s Day is about?

A group of Irish children from Victoria Heights in Dubai had a go at explaining St Patrick’s Day (and leprechauns too) while wearing big green hats, green clothes and the occasional beard.

Source: Reel Snappy/YouTube

“They wanted to tell all the other children from various nationalities and the people of UAE all about St Patrick, leprechauns and colours of the Irish flag,” says Orlagh Marnane, who sent us the video.

Nice work, kids.

Lewiswham police in south London have deleted their earlier tweet showing a four-leaf clover made out of handcuffs – it wasn’t even a shamrock! – and have apologised for it.

One of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in the world will kick off in New York City at 11am EST (which is 3pm GMT). The parade will last almost six hours, marching up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street.

My colleague Cliodhna Russell has been looking at the history of the NYC parade and the photographs of it from the 1940s onwards, which you can read here.

This particular photo from the 1948 parade is quite eye-catching:

download Source: Associated Press

The first of the big parades will be starting in Galway at 11.30am, so you’ve got less than half an hour if you want to make it in.

giphy (1)

Reader Barry McMenamin is on his honeymoon in Chiang Mai in Thailand, but being 11,785km away from Ireland isn’t stopping him from marking St Patrick’s Day.

He wrote:

Hi from Chiang Mai. Here on my honeymoon and stumbled on this place.  Had to enjoy a Kilkenny.

Thailand Source: Barry McMenamin

1be7dc4a-25f5-4f64-9be1-b52c4a1bd0dc Source: Barry McMenamin

4eb4f679-4e5e-47ce-9a51-323ef4cc55e5 Source: Barry McMenamin

We’re intrigued by the ‘corned beef specials’ on the banner under the pub’s name. Have one on us, Barry.

Crowds are gathering along the route of the Dublin parade, which will kick off at 12 noon.

Richie McCann got this great photograph from the Westin Hotel on Westmoreland Street showing the street scene right now.

St Patrick’s Day doesn’t traditionally fare too well in popular culture - Muppets doing Danny Boy, anyone? No? – but shout-out to The Simpsons for this eternally relevant and caustic view of St Patrick’s Day from Homer vs The Eighteenth Amendment:

Source: nowakki/YouTube

Lisbon is having its first ever St Patrick’s Day parade today.

Orla Tunney, the Irish ambassador to Portugal who took up her role last September, will be leading the parade, with hundreds of school children taking part.

The gardaí are, as always, getting into the spirit of things ahead of the start of the Dublin parade.

Kudos to the men in the picture below for somehow managing to find green  morning coats which perfectly match their top hats. That’s some dedication to the cause right there.

The big parades can end up hogging a lot of the attention, but what about the many parades taking place in towns and villages across the country today?

My colleague Catherine Healy has been taking a look at some of these parades, including one of the longest-running parades in the country which takes place in the small west Cork village of Coppeen, which has a population of fewer than 100 people (but still manages to have 30 floats).

download Source: Shane Cronin

The parade has been running for 45 years, and this year will feature themes including Downton Abbey, Brooklyn (the film, not the place) and the Easter Rising.

However the voluntary committee that runs the parade says it can be tough to deal with the competition from bigger towns.

“Clonakilty always puts on a big parade and they have sponsorship from the credit union there this year,” says Diarmaid Cohalan, one of the organisers.

You can read the full piece here.

A few more photos from readers (thanks everyone for sending them in).

Mark O’Reilly sent us this pic of his 4-week-old niece Alice who is ready for her first St Patrick’s Day (and even has the booties to match).

bb58d966-6221-438c-8c94-6be1bf64a0d9 Source: Mark O'Reilly

Slightly further afield, brother and sister Penny (18  months) and Teddy (4) are flying the flag in Zurich, Switzerland, with their parents Annie and Matt.

photojoiner Source: Annie Wilson

In Tipperary, mayor of Clonmel Pat English has raised the tricolourat St Patrick’s Well in Marlfield, along with guests from four of the six towns that Clonmel is twinned with.

The site is believed to be one of the largest holy wells in the country, and legend has it that St Patrick stopped off at the site on his journey to convert the King of Munster to Christianity.

d516fc10-4b33-4284-baa7-54b295492b88 Source: Cahir Media

The Dublin parade coverage has started on RTE One now, for everyone who can’t make it to the actual thing.

Source: RTE One

Not to jinx it or anything, but St Patrick’s Day is so much better when it’s not freezing cold/lashing rain/snowing, isn’t it?

The capital is awash in green as you might expect:

32 Patricks Day Source: Leah Farrell

17/03/2016. St Patricks Day Parade - Dublin. Pictu Li Yong from China Source: Sam Boal

45 Patricks Day Source: Leah Farrell

39 Patricks Day Source: Leah Farrell

Joanne O’Riordan is the Grand Marshal of the Dublin parade today. She told RTÉ that she’s having a job avoid the horse manure and Luas tracks, but she’s enjoying it.

“Nothing can stop us now, baby!”

Stephen McKenna is in New York and he just passed by St Patrick’s Cathedral, which is at the ready for today’s parade.


It’s not just Dublin, of course.

Here are some pictures from Limerick City, where 80,000 people are expected to turn out.

Limerick St Patricks parade2 Source: Press 22

Limerick St Patricks parade3 Source: Press 22

The RTÉ coverage is showing a host of high school marching bands who came over from the US.

Well for them. The furthest we went when I was in school was town.

Trump, you say Emer?

Trump Source: Cahir Media

That man Trump is everywhere. Here he is popping up in Cahir, County Tipperary.

Source: Peter Lind/YouTube

If you have no plans tonight, you could watch the St Patrick’s Day episode of 30 Rock, which is just marvelous.

Passing out and cursing – on St. Patrick’s Day. Is nothing sacred?

20160311_115412_resized Source: Pól Ó Síodhcháin

The students of Coláiste Daibhéid in Cork made a living flag before the Cork parade which is pretty cool.

CMK17032016 St Pats Cork003 Johnny Bailey, Jill Fallon and Nicola Depuit, Eoin O'Reill, Alicia Boh and Rebecca McCarthy Source: Clare Keogh

The parade in Cork attracted thousands, but not even that noise could wake this lot.

17/03/2016. St Patricks Day Parade - Dublin. Pictu Source: Sam Boal

This shot by RollingNews.ie’s Sam Boal is the office favourite so far today.

Damien Culhane sent us this of his three-month-old niece Eve.

He says:

“She wasn’t very happy with the outfit but as soon as she got Lamby, it was smiles all round!”

As evidenced by the before and after:

photojoiner (4) Source: Damien Culhane

And, with that, we’ll sign off from the liveblog.

Enjoy the rest of your St Patrick’s Day, stay safe and have fun.

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