Saturday 16 December 2017

500,000 expected in capital for Paddy's Day celebrations

Nikita Yakiovtev at the 45th International Band Championship, Limerick
Nikita Yakiovtev at the 45th International Band Championship, Limerick
TWENTY two marching bands featuring musicians from across Ireland, Europe and the USA performed in Limerick for the 45th International Band Championship

Up to 500,000 people are expected to line the streets of Dublin tomorrow for St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The St Patrick's festival kicked off on Saturday with over 1,000 musicians taking part in the 45th International Band Championships in Limerick, but the annual parade in the capital is the jewel in the crown of the festivities.

Beginning on Parnell Square at noon, the parade will march through town to its end point just past St Patrick's Cathedral.

Comedian Brendan O'Carroll will be Grand Marshall.

Failte Ireland, co-organiser of the festival alongside Dublin City Council, said it expects around a fifth of those attending to be overseas visitors.

For those looking to escape pubs and bars which are likely to be jammed, the Irish Beer and Whiskey Fair continues in the RDS tomorrow.

At 6pm, the city is due to turn green with a number of landmarks due to be lit up to celebrate all things Irish.

The GPO, Christchurch, the Guinness Storehouse and Leinster House will be getting the green treatment.

The Spire on O'Connell Street and the Phoenix Monument will also feature in the city-wide light show.

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This year, for the first time, archived material from the Guinness Archives will be on display at various locations throughout the city.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters are predicting the capital will be mainly dry, with temperatures of about 9 degrees tomorrow.

Commuters and motorists have been warned to expect substantial disruption to roads tomorrow. Parking is banned along the parade route from 8pm this evening.

Gardai have issued a warning to all road users to exercise extra caution as figures reveal that arrests for drink and drunk driving double between March 16 and 18.

Dart services will run on Sunday service schedule, but with extra trains before and after the parade. Irish Rail said Tara Street will be closed until 4pm for 'crowd control' reasons.

Dublin Bus will also run on a Sunday schedule, and have advised customers that there will be no real-time information available on their website or apps between 9am and 3pm.

Commuters are advised that many diversions will be in place throughout the day. Details can be found online.

The Temple Bar business association have asked punters to enjoy themselves sensibly.

The All-Ireland club hurling and football finals will also take place in Croke Park tomorrow.


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