St Patrick's Day

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Sorcha Pollak Mon, Mar 17
 
LIVE: St Patrick's Day

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  • 07:59

    Good morning and welcome to the special St Patrick's day edition of the Daily Wire with Sorcha Pollak. I'll be here all afternoon covering parades, festivals, weather, traffic and all things green as we enjoy this bank holiday Monday. If you have any comments or suggs for the blog, you can tweet me @SorchaPollak.

    So let's start enjoying this Paddy's day or as a central Dublin restaurant suitably re-named it: 'take the day off Lent day'.

  • 08:09
    Here’s the latest weather update from Met Éireann before you all set out for the parades.
    It will be cool and mostly cloudy today. There will be some patchy mist and drizzle in places, but many areas will be dry this morning with bright spells at times in eastern and south-eastern areas.
    Somewhat more in the way of drizzle this afternoon but there will still be good dry periods. Top temperatures of 9 to 12 C, in a moderate west backing southwest breeze, which will freshen this afternoon and evening.

  • 08:16

    There will be road closures in various towns and cities around the country due to St Patrick’s Day parades. Here’s a run-down of the main areas outside the capital that are closed off.

    Galway: The Galway City St Patrick’s Parade takes place from 11:30am until approx 1:30pm and up to 60,000 people are expected to attend. The parade will start from Lwr Dominic St and travel along Bridge St, Shop St, William St, Williamgate St and onto Eyre Square before finishing up at Prospect Hill.

    Limerick:  The Limerick City St. Patrick’s Festival Parade takes place from midday to 2pm and approx 70,000 people are expected to attend. The parade will start at Sarsfield Barracks on Barrack Hill, before travelling onto O’Connell Ave, The Crescent, O’Connell St, Patrick St and Bank Place.  The following road closures are in place until 3:30pm: O’ Connell Avenue, Quin St, St. Gerard St, Patrick St, O’Connell St, Charlotte Quay, Bridge St, Athlunkard St, Sarsfield Bridge, Sarsfield St, Liddy St, Honan’s Quay, Arthurs Quay, Merchants Quay, Nicholas St, Convent St.

    Cork:  The Cork City St Patrick’s Parade takes place from 1pm. The parade will start at Parnell Bridge, before travelling on towards South Mall, Grand Parade, Patrick St, through to Merchants Quay. Road closures are in place on Union Quay, Copley St, Stable Lane, Connell St, Tuckey St and Lapps Quay.

    Waterford:  The Waterford City St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place at 1pm. The parade will travel from the Bus Station along the Quays onto The Mall and ending at the junction of The Mall and Parnell St.

    Kilkenny:  The Kilkenny City St. Patrick’s Parade takes place from 1pm to 4pm. Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend. The parade will start at St. John’s Church, before travelling on towards John St, John’s Bridge, and Rose Inn St, right at The Parade before finishing up on Castle St. The route of the parade will be closed from 11:30am until 3pm.  Traffic from Ormonde Rd will be diverted onto Patrick St. Castle St motorists will divert onto Nuncio Rd and those from Parliament St will divert up Dean St.

  • 08:19
  • 08:23

    Here’s the latest from Dublin on road closures this afternoon. Basically, if you’re in a car stay well clear of central Dublin.


    The Dublin City St. Patrick’s Festival Parade takes place today and will get underway at midday.

    Participants depart from Parnell Sq onto O’Connell St, over O’Connell Bridge and onto Westmoreland St and will then make their way down Dame St and Lord Edward St and through to Patrick St before finishing up past St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  


    There will be a number of road closures in the city throughout the day. Gardai will reopen roads as the parade passes. There will be no parking along the route of the parade.

    Western Way to Fredrick St North is closed until 2:30pm and the following roads are closed until 5pm: Dominick St Upr, Mountjoy St, Middle Mountjoy St, Palmerston Place, St Mary’s Place North, Granby Row, Parnell Square North & East, part of O’Connell St and O’Connell Bridge. Westmoreland St, College Green, Dame St, Lord Edward St, Christchurch Place, Nicholas St, Patrick St, New St South and Clanbrassil St Lwr are also closed until 5pm.

    The St Patrick’s Festival Funfair takes place at Custom House Quay for the final day today from 10am to 10pm . As a result Custom House Quay is closed until 6am Tuesday (18th) as a result.


    The St Patrick’s Festival Funfair takes place at Merrion Square from 10am to 10pm until. Merrion Square West is closed until 8pm Tuesday (18th). Diversions are in place.


    Parking restrictions are in place on Merrion Square East & South, Merrion St Upr, Mount St Upr and Fitzwilliam St Lwr until 11pm.


    Mind Body Spirit takes place at the RDS today from 11am to 6pm. Delays can be expected through Ballsbridge and Sandymount, on Anglesea Rd, Simmonscourt Rd, Shelbourne Rd and Pembroke Rd. However, the heaviest traffic is likely on Merrion Rd.

  • 08:29
    The streets of Dublin were eerily quite as I cycled to work this morning. This was not the case a few hours previously when tens of thousands took to the streets of Temple Bar. Here’s a shot taken around 11pm last night.
  • 08:29
    Temple Bar at around 11pm on Sunday 16th March, 2014.
    Temple Bar at around 11pm on Sunday 16th March, 2014.
  • 08:37
  • 08:52

    Guinness has pulled its sponsorship of New York City’s parade joining with New York mayor Bill de Blasio in boycotting the event over the ban on openly gay and lesbian marchers.


    The move by Guinness USA to withdraw sponsorship follows the decision of Boston Beer Co, the maker of Sam Adams, last week to pull support from Boston St Patrick’s Day parade and Heineken to withdraw support from the New York parade.


    The decision by Guinness to boycott the parade places greater focus on Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s participation in today’s New York St Patrick’s Day parade. For more on Simon Carswell’s coverage of the NYC parade boycott, click here.

  • 08:56
  • 09:05
  • 09:16

    Dingle kicked off the country’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations with their parade starting at 6am this morning. The Kerry town continued its tradition of the Fife and Drum Band leading townspeople on a musical march around Dingle in the early hours of the morning. The main St Patrick’s Day parade will begin in the town’s streets at 1pm this afternoon.


    Here’s a video of the event from last year. Those drummers don’t look overly enthused about being outside in the wee hours of the morning.

  • 09:17
  • 09:24
    Suzanne Lynch is reporting on Brussels going green for St Patrick’s day and the famous Manneken Pis statue dressing in traditional Irish costume for the occasion. Click here for more.
  • 09:26
    Brussels’ Manneken Pis statue was dressed in a traditional Irish costume, comprising a custom-made Aran jumper, Irish tweed trousers and a patchwork tweed cap. Photograph: Suzanne Lynch
    Brussels’ Manneken Pis statue was dressed in a traditional Irish costume, comprising a custom-made Aran jumper, Irish tweed trousers and a patchwork tweed cap. Photograph: Suzanne Lynch
  • 09:40
    Apparently the Americans invented St Patrick's Day celebrations? Watch here to find out why.
  • 09:41
  • 09:54

    Here’s a list of some of the other parades taking place around Ireland this afternoon.

    The Killarney parade will start at the Ross Road assembly point at 2pm with over 50 floats, marching groups and bands taking part. The parade will be led by mayor Paddy Courtney and the eight other members of Killarney Town Council.

    The Listowel parade begins at 12.30pm from the town park. It will pass the viewing stand in the town square, proceed up Charles Street, and then back to the square.


    The Castleisland parade will start from the Tralee Road at 1.30om and will be preceded by street music.


    The Waterville parade takes place at 4pm this afternoon.


    The local pipe band will lead the parade through Killorglin and participants are asked to assemble at The Fishery from 12.30pm.

    Communities in Glenbeigh, Glencar and Cromane will join forces for a parade in Glenbeigh, starting at 12.30pm from Glenbeigh GAA Grounds.

    The parade in Sneem will begin at Galvin’s yard at 12.30pm.

  • 09:56
  • 10:30

    The AIB GAA hurling All Ireland Senior Championship will take place in Croke Park at 2pm this afternoon when Mt Leinster Rangers take on Portumna.

    This will be followed by GAA football club championship with Castlebar Mitchels v St Vincents.

    Click here for more information on today’s games.

  • 10:36
  • 10:45

    “Like an ancient demon in a horror film, I have many names – Patrick, Paddy, Pat, Pa, Nazgul Eater of Worlds. This comes from being christened Patrick, a name that comes with a whole menu of nifty abbreviations.

    My family calls me Pat. I imagine a therapist would say that it’s because they like to diminish me. “Each letter subtracted represents a piece of your self-worth,” I can picture him saying as he doles out psychological insights from the back of a van.

    Then there was a short period when I was younger when friends called me Pa (pronounced Paw), like I was a hillbilly patriarch. But this was well before I was really a hillbilly patriarch, so it never really took off.”

    Irish Times journalist Patrick Freyne joins a cast of other Patricks, Paddys, Pats and Patsys, to discuss what it’s like to be named after the man himself. Click here to read on.

  • 10:52

    I'm sitting at my desk laughing out loud at Patrick Freyne's decription of his name. For those of you who decided not to click on the latest link and read on, here's a little more of the Freyniac's witty prose.

    "There may have been a similar but different regulation in Trinity College. When I went there in 1992 and introduced myself as Patrick everyone actually called me “Patrick”. I imagine this was because people simply weren’t allowed to be called Paddy in Trinity.

    There were no Paddys in Trinity at all. Not one. Not ever. It was probably a bylaw, like the one that allowed scholars to graze sheep there and to saddle up UCD engineering students like they were camels and race them around Front Square.

    I still didn’t like being pinned down. “My friends call me Bladez,” I’d say, whirling my cape around in a very fetching manner.

    “We’d prefer not to, Patrick,” said the Trinity students."

  • 10:57

    Over the years St Patrick’s day celebrations have continued to spread around the globe. Since 2008, Bucharest in Romania has held a celebration in the capital for the Irish community.

    Click here to watch a video of the 2014 Romanian Patrick’s day parade.  

  • 10:58
  • 11:02
  • 11:11
  • 11:11
    For the day that’s in it and also because I’m feeling particularly patriotic this morning. Let’s step back 20 years....
  • 11:17
  • 11:17
    And then 9 years later, this happened...  
  • 11:23

    Ok, I’ve had my fun. Enough of the Riverdance reminiscing.

    Disneyland Paris is going Irish this year with Sleeping Beauty’s castle turning green followed by a fireworks display this evening.

    Click here for more information on Disney’s St Patrick’s day celebrations.

  • 11:25
  • 11:33
    Expedia have created an interactive quiz which allows you to test how Irish you really are. Apparently I’m ‘nearly Irish’... I should probably work on that one. Click here to take the test.
  • 11:39
    The Ulster Orchestra are playing a special BBC invitation St Patrick’s day concert this evening at the Belfast Waterfront. Tickets are free but must be applied for online. Click here to find out more.
  • 11:43
  • 11:44
  • 11:49

    “The small size of our nation should make it possible to cultivate a common set of values and a shared identity, yet the Republic is arguably more fractured today than at any point in the last 50 years. Among the problems is most of us take no pride in our first city.”

    To read more of Trevor White’s article on why Irish people take so little pride in their capital city, click here.  

  • 12:04

    Some more updates on parades in the south of the country.

    The Schull parade begins at 2pm and will be followed by a parish social in the Parish Hall.

    The Skibbereen parade starts at 2.30pm from the children’s playground on the Cork Road and will finish in the Fairfield.

    Kinsale’s parade will set off at 4pm at the car park near the fire station at New Road.

    The Clonakilty parade begins at 3pm at Fax Bridge and will proceed through the town centre, finishing at the old vocational school on Oliver Plunket Street.

    The Castletownbere parade begins at 3pm and floats are asked to line up at the east end of the pier.

    Bandon’s parade will begin at 2.30pm in St Patrick’s Church car park.

    The Ballydehob parade, which remembers the town 100 years ago in 1914, will begin at 12pm.

  • 12:30
    Over in the west of the country, the Clifden St Patrick’s day parade begins at 12.30pm and will be followed by entertainment on the town square.  
  • 12:33
  • 12:50
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Aldershot, England, to present the traditional sprigs of Shamrocks to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Regiment. Photograph: Chris Jacks
    Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Aldershot, England, to present the traditional sprigs of Shamrocks to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Regiment. Photograph: Chris Jacks
  • 13:07

    Irish filmmakers and performers are representing the industry at festivals and programmes around the world to celebrate St Patrick’s day.

    In London the Barbican centre will be screening the Irish-American silent comedy Come on Over accompanied by pianist, John Sweeney, and uilleann piper, John Devine. There’s also a day of Irish shorts at the Prince Charles Cinema on Leicester Square.

    The Rome Irish Film Festa will open its 7th edition with a showing of The Stag.

    The Berlin St Patrick’s Festival will include a number of shorts and features presented in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute International and the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland.

    The Irish Film Festival in Boston returns for its 14th year celebrating Irish film. Guests include actress Ruth McCabe, actor Dylan Moran and director Ian Fitzgibbon.

    The New York Irish Arts Centre will screen the award-winning animation Moon Man.

    The Solus Nua Arts Centre in Washington DC presents its Irish Popcorn series.

    Irish filmmaker Moira Tierney presents a programme of Solus Collective films in New Orleans.

    David McSavage (Savage Eye), Hugh O’Conor (The Stag) and Mark O’Connor (director, King of the Travellers) will attend the Irish Film Festival in Moscow.

    Serbia will host its second annual Belgrade Irish Film Festival, attended by Johnny Grogan with a screening of his feature film Black Ice.  

  • 13:07
    The zebra crossing on Abbey Road, St John's Wood, is turned green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day in London. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
    The zebra crossing on Abbey Road, St John's Wood, is turned green by Tourism Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day in London. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA Wire
  • 13:19

    The Trailblazery presents ‘We need to talk about Ireland’ at 9pm tonight, live on RTE Player and The Washington Post. This 90 minute creative celebration of Ireland’s past, present and future will take place in front of a live audience at the Round Room in Dublin’s Mansion House.

    The event features TED-style talks, interspersed with music, comedy, poetry, film and a large-scale choral spectacle.

    Participants include Colm O’ Gorman (Director Amnesty International Ireland), Martin Hayes (Traditional Musician), Patrick McCormack (Rural Philosopher), Crash Ensemble, Nina Hynes (Singer/ Musician), Iarla O’ Lionáird (Singer/ Musician), Patrick McCormack (Rural Philosopher) Crash Ensemble, Nina Hynes (Singer/ Musician), Iarla O’ Lionáird (Singer/ Musician).

    For more information on the event, click here.

  • 13:21
    Crowds gather in Dublin for the 2014 St Patrick's Day Parade. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
    Crowds gather in Dublin for the 2014 St Patrick's Day Parade. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
  • 13:27
  • 13:33

    The Telegraph has put together thirty quotes about Ireland and the Irish including the following from Sigmund Freud:

    'This [The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.'

    Click here to read the other 29.

  • 14:01
  • 14:09

    We have a live-stream of Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade which began at 12pm from Parnell Square.

    The theme of this year’s parade is Let’s Make History and honours Brian Boru with the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf happening next month.

    Click here to watch the parade live.

  • 14:18
    Click here to watch a video of the Irish abroad sending St Patrick’s day messages to family and friends back home in the green fields.
  • 14:35
    Click here to read an article from the Guardian on the hurdles of speaking Irish and organising Irish-language classes in Britain.
  • 14:42
    Young boy at the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin this afternoon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times
    Young boy at the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin this afternoon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times
  • 14:48

    Manchán Magan asks in his latest article whether Irish-language films and songs could compete on a global market. He writes:

    “How about establishing a €2 million annual competition to select and film the best Irish language movie script, and to record the best Irish language pop song?

    “The US and the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have shown a desire for Irish-influenced entertainment when produced and packaged in a universal and engaging format. Riverdance and its spin-offs are the ultimate example. In terms of pop music, only Enya has really tapped this market, selling 75 million copies of her bilingual albums and earning a reputed $100 million (€72 million). In literature, the success of Colm Tóibín, Maeve Binchy, Joseph O’Connor, Patrick McCabe, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle reveal that Irish stories are captivating international audiences.”

    Click here to read on.

  • 14:53
  • 15:01
  • 15:22

    Marie-Therese Keegan writes about her Patrick’s day parties in her south London home.

    We’ll deck the house with tinfoil shamrocks. They’ll cascade from door knobs and light fittings, press handles and curtain rails. I will pull out the box with the giant cardboard leprechaun who’ll be blue tacked to our front door – arms extended in warm welcome. There’ll be a basket on the hallway stand with silly badges – homage to the risque key game from the 1970s. This time the most daring outcome is a lapel badge with “Kiss me quick I’m Irish”.

    Click here to read more.

  • 15:36
    Click here to read how England came to celebrate Irish culture.
  • 15:39
  • 15:40
  • 15:40
  • 15:46
    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio bows his head during a prayer while attending a service at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York March 17, 2014. Last week New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not march in the Manhattan St. Patrick's Day parad
    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio bows his head during a prayer while attending a service at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York March 17, 2014. Last week New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not march in the Manhattan St. Patrick's Day parad
  • 15:50

    President Michael D Higgins attended today’s Dublin parade with his wife Sabina. He urged the crowds to remember those who have emigrated from Ireland in recent years.

    “It continues to play a significant role in defining us as a society and as a people,” he said.

    “Today we celebrate our wider and diverse Irish family, to whom we remain connected by a strong cultural heritage and history. We are grateful for all they do to keep that heritage alive in their adopted homelands across the globe, as well as for their interest in, and tangible support for, Ireland’s welfare and development."

    “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.”

  • 15:52
  • 16:10

    Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley flew from London to Cork this morning to serve as Grand Marshal at the Cork city St Patrick’s Day parade.

    “Little did I think, growing up as the son of Irish emigrants on Chicago’s south side that I would be a future Grand Marshal for Ireland’s second largest city,” he said. “I am delighted to take part in the Cork St Patrick’s Festival as Grand Marshal. I am really proud of Cork.”

    “I’ve put my heart and soul in to my home in Castlehyde where I have lived for the last fifteen years. I cannot speak highly enough of the local people who are so friendly and genuine. Corkonians in particular are so warm and welcoming.”

  • 16:17
    The Garda Band leading the St Patrick's Day parade down O'Connell Street in Dublin today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
    The Garda Band leading the St Patrick's Day parade down O'Connell Street in Dublin today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
  • 16:21

    That’s all from the St Patrick’s day blog, a chairde. We’ll be back with the regular Daily Wire tomorrow from 9.30am.

    Bainigí taitneamh as an lá agus beannachtaí na féile Pádraig.