St Patrick's Day

Feeling the rub of the green? Follow the celebrations at home and abroad . . .

Hugh Linehan Fri, Mar 17
LIVE: St Patrick's Day

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  • 08:06
    Good morning from cold but dry central Dublin and welcome to the Irish Times' rolling coverage of the celebrations of St Patrick's Day. I'm Hugh Linehan and I'll be keeping you informed on what's happening here and around the world. Feel free to drop me an email at Or you can get in touch on Twitter at @hlinehan
  • 08:17
    For a quick round-up of events taking place across the country today, read Ciaran D'Arcy's article here.
  • 08:19

    Here's the route of today's parade in Dublin.

  • 08:26

    If you're coming into the city centre, here's the basic info:

    The Dublin parade starts at 12 noon.

    This year, due to Luas works, it will  come down the EAST side of O’Connell Street (Clery’s side), O' Connell Bridge East and on to Westmoreland Street. These changes will affect how the general public get around the city. Diversions will be in place which may lengthen journey times so it is advised to plan ahead.

    Public coming to view the parade on O’Connell Street East should access via Rosie Hackett Bridge and Marlborough Street. It is anticipated that viewing on O' Connell Bridge will be at capacity early.

    There will be directional street signage in place and An Garda Síochána and stewards will be there to assist.

    The Festival Parade route is extended and there is now viewing on Kevin Street.

    Local residents and public using the Luas green line, terminating at Stephen's Green should consider availing of this new viewing opportunity.

    When the Festival parade finishes there will be diversions in place. Please co-operate with An Garda Síochána, security and stewards.

    Where possible it is advised to use public transport.

  • 08:37

    Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17th. But our modern St Patrick's Day is an Irish-American invention.   On March 1th7, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.

    Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called “Irish Aid” societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums.

    In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving between 10,000 and 20,000 participants each.

  • 08:40

  • 08:42

    A message from the President.

  • 08:45

    A message from another president.

  • 08:51

    'The visitors pushed in urgently. Some jostling ensured. The Irish Times may have trod on a general’s foot. A reporter was hit on the back of the head by a television camera and she fell on to the sofa nearly landing on the Trump son-in-law.'

    Read about Miriam Lord's Patty's Day adventures in the Oval Office here.

  • 08:58

  • 09:07

    Some pretty groovy costumes at the 1973 Dublin parade.

  • 09:25

    This week the Government launched, a website showcasing the country's creativity. This is the accompanying video, featuring some of the country's best-known artists and creatives.

  • 09:26

    As that last post shows, we Irish love our culture. So it’s no surprise that St Patrick’s Day sees thousands of people flocking to “Dublin’s "cultural quarter”, Temple Bar, where you can find arthouse cinema at the Irish Film Institute, cutting-edge theatre at Project or the best of visual art at several galleries. In fact, the demand for culture today will be so intense, according to, that a private security firm will help gardaí keep the peace with the same ‘robust policing’ approach adopted in the area last year.
    To keep the insatiable culture vultures in check, manned barriers will be placed on all routes in and out of the area, and Merchant’s Arch will be restricted to one-way traffic.
    There’ll also be a crackdown on on-street culture. You have been warned.

  • 09:40

    So what was going on with that weird "Irish proverb" Donald Trump quoted yesterday? And how come no Irish person had ever heard it before?

    It appears to have been lifted from  a poem written by Nigerian writer Albashir Adam Alhassan, which in turn was lifted by a number of cheesy "inspirational" websites.

    Barack Obama's former speechwriter had this to say:

  • 09:53



  • 09:58

    The theme of this year's Dublin parade is ‘Ireland You Are’. Irish street theatre companies and bands will be joined by performers from the US, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Bahamas.
    This years' Grand Marshall will be Olympic silver medal winner Annalise Murphy who will lead the parade through the capital.
    Live coverage of the Dublin Parade will be broadcast on RTÉ from 12.15pm this afternoon.
    The St Patrick's Day celebrations are also available to watch free worldwide on the RTÉ Player.

  • 10:15

    Here's the New York Times' take on Enda Kenny's encounter with Donald Trump yesterday.

    On a calendar of foreign visitors that includes President Xi Jinping of China and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the annual visit by the taoiseach of Ireland to mark St. Patrick’s Day should have been a delightful distraction for President Trump.

    Mr. Trump, after all, owns a golf resort on the country’s west coast. He has stocked his White House and cabinet with Irish-Americans. And as he never tires of pointing out, he has marched in more St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City then he cares to remember.

    Yet on Thursday, Mr. Trump found himself in a roomful of kelly-green-clad lawmakers in the Capitol for the Friends of Ireland luncheon, being lectured by Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister, or taoiseach (pronounced THEE-shakh), about the virtues of America’s immigrant legacy and the contributions that immigrants had made to the country.

  • 10:25

    The bad new for the west and northwest of the country is that Met Eireann has issued a Status Yellow Warning (translation: it's going to be a bit wet) for Connacht and Ulster. Here's the full forecast:

    Cool, blustery and mainly cloudy today, St. Patrick's Day. Fresh to strong and gusty southwest winds will be blustery on Atlantic coasts. Persistent and sometimes heavy rain will affect Connacht, Ulster and parts of west Munster today. Lighter, more intermittent rain elsewhere, but all areas receiving at least some rain this afternoon and evening. Hill and coastal fog also. Top temperatures 9 to 12 C.

  • 10:30

    This year's Cork parade runs from the South Mall to the Grand Parade, along St. Patrick’s Street and finishes at Merchant’s Quay. Celebrating the theme of Cork - A City of Community, Culture & Commerce, it starts at 1pm.  


  • 10:37

    It's time for a bracing dose of Irish realism.

  • 10:42

  • 10:48

  • 10:57

    People are starting to arrive for the Dublin parade.


  • 11:00

    Warning: noisy.


  • 11:07

    It's a big day in Croke Park, with the All Ireland hurling and football club finals taking place. Here's Malachy Clerkin's piece on Cuala from the unlikely GAA stronghold of Dalkey. And here's one of their supporters.


  • 11:12

    It's not just GAA this afternoon.  


  • 11:25

    It's all kicking off now. This just in from London.


  • 11:27

  • 11:34

  • 11:40

  • 11:43

  • 11:48
    Looking for a few handy Irish curses and insults to throw for the day that's in it? Check out  Éanna Ó Caollaí's guide to 54 Irish terms of abuse, including the Myles na Gopaleen-esque "Droch áird chúgat lá gaoithe" ("That you may be badly positioned on a windy day").
  • 11:57

    This is very cool. Jackie Wilson rips up 'Danny Boy'.

  • 11:59

  • 12:17

    Nearly time for the parade. Before that, take a time to watch and listen to this.