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Monday 26 September 2016

Thousands flock into Dublin city centre as New Year's Eve party underway

Jane O'Faherty

Published 31/12/2015 | 21:22

Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Oscar Kenny (3) and Paul Kenny both from Portmarnock at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Ciara Bowen (10) and Paul Bowen both from Inchicore at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival.
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival

The cold was no match for the carnival atmosphere that swept through Dublin city, with hordes of party-goers ringing in the New Year.

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Illuminating the streets for the thousands of revellers who had converged on the city, the breathtaking Procession of Light led the thrilled crowds around St Stephen’s Green and Grafton St from the early evening.

Ciara Bowen (10) and Paul Bowen both from Inchicore at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Ciara Bowen (10) and Paul Bowen both from Inchicore at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival

Elizabeth Iredale from Baldoyle brought her husband Patrick and three children, Liam (11), Maria (8) and David along to see the sparkling spectacle.

“It’s a really nice thing to do with the kids on New Year’s Eve,” she said. “We get to go out and enjoy the atmosphere in town and still be home when it begins to get a bit crazy.”

Fireworks explode around the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode around the London Eye during the New Year celebrations in central London just after midnight on January 1, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode in the sky during New Year celebrations in Sofia, Bulgaria on January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Marsaut
Fireworks explode over the temple of the Parthenon atop Acropolis hill during New Year's day celebrations in Athens, Greece, January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Fireworks explode in the sky during New Year celebrations in Sofia, Bulgaria on January 1, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Marsaut
Revellers during the Hogmanay New Year celebrations in Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 31, 2015. See PA story SOCIAL Hogmanay. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Fireworks light the sky above the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania shortly after midnight during the New Year celebrations, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. Thousands of people celebrated the beginning of the New Year 2016 in the Lithuanian capital. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Fireworks light the sky above the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, Lithuania, shortly after midnight during the New Year celebrations, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. Thousands of people celebrated the beginning of the New Year 2016 in the Lithuanian capital. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
Fireworks explode over the temple of the Parthenon at the Acropolis hill during the New Year celebrations in Athens, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/ Yorgos Karahalis )
Fireworks explode above the ancient temple of Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill during the New Year celebrations in Athens on January 1, 2016. / AFP / ANGELOS TZORTZINISANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks light up the sky above Edinburgh castle as part of Hogmanay celebrations. Unicef wishes Edinburgh a #HappyBlueYear by adding a hint of blue to the iconic Hogmanay firework display on December 31, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for Unicef)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 31: Fireworks light up the sky above Edinburgh castle as part of Hogmanay celebrations. Unicef wishes Edinburgh a #HappyBlueYear by adding a hint of blue to the iconic Hogmanay firework display on December 31, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for Unicef)
French police patrol in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDREMATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images
French police cars are parked along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDREMATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images
French gendarmes patrol at the Avenue des Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MATTHIEU ALEXANDREMATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode over Moscow's Kremlin complex during New Year celebrations in Moscow, on January 1, 2016. / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode over Moscow's Kremlin complex during New Year celebrations in Moscow, on January 1, 2016. / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode over Moscow's Kremlin complex during New Year celebrations in Moscow, on January 1, 2016. / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks are seen over Moscow's Kremlin complex during New Year celebrations in Moscow, on January 1, 2016. / AFP / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Smoke billows from the Address Downtown Hotel, after it caught on fire hours earlier, past fireworks, near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower in Dubai, on January 1, 2015. At least 16 people were injured when a huge fire ripped through a luxury 63-storey hotel, the Address Downtown, where crowds were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known but the building was safely evacuated. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD FARWANAHMAD FARWAN/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks burst over the Atlantis Hotel at the man-made Palm Island in Dubai, on January 1, 2016. A spectacular fireworks display lit up the sky above Dubai, centred on the iconic Burj Khalifa tower close to where a huge fire in a luxury hotel injured 16 people hours earlier. AFP PHOTO / MARWAN NAAMANIMARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Maria told the Independent.ie that her wish for 2016 is that “it’ll be sunnier”.

The New Year’s session truly got underway when over 1,500 determined drummers smashed the world record for the largest-ever assembly of bodhrán players.

Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival

Last year’s event succeeded in breaking the previous world record, when 980 people participated.

Cynthia Bonne from Ghent and Rachel Gerads from Amsterdam had their drums ready, but admitted they had never played musical instruments before.

Oscar Kenny (3) and Paul Kenny both from Portmarnock at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Oscar Kenny (3) and Paul Kenny both from Portmarnock at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Ciara Bowen (10) and Paul Bowen both from Inchicore at the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival.
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
Performers during the Procession of Light ceremony in Dublin's City Centre as part of the NYF Dublin festival
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin
Ethan Smith, age 5, Sandycove with his mum Tara at the NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin
The NYF Bodhran Session World Record attempt at St Stephen's Green, part of the New Years Festival in Dublin. nyf.com running from 30th Dec to 1st Jan in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

“Cynthia made me,” confessed Rachel, as she brandished her bodhrán. Many attendees bought their €10 bodhráns this week, proceeds from which went to Focus Ireland.

“We are trying to do it the Irish way,” Rachel added. “We aren’t going to a fancy place. We are just hanging out here and celebrating.”

“We hope for a lot of love and happiness next year,” Rachel said. “If it is as great a year as 2015 was, I will be very satisfied.”

Ray Yeates, City Arts Officer with Dublin City Council, said the New Year’s Festival showcased what Dublin had to offer as tourists flocked to the city.

“From what I’ve heard from visitors, our cultural reputation is unique and is admired all around Europe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Orla Carroll of Fáilte Ireland said the New Year festivities had rejuvenated the annual celebration in the capital.

“Up to five years ago, the city centre was relatively quiet but tonight an anticipated 15,000 overseas visitors are in Dublin specifically for the New Year’s Festival,” she said.“Tonight the city is so lively and animated,” she added.

Right now, internationally-acclaimed acts Le Galaxie, All Tvvins and Wyvern Lingo kept a crowd of some 5,000 people entertained ahead of a clamorous countdown at the sold-out NYF Street Fest on St Stephen’s Green.

Ninon Sire and her boyfriend Benjamin Roret from Nantes, France, were first drawn to Ireland because of a joke about Benjamin’s red hair.

“Of course, we wanted to discover your country and your city too,” laughed Ninon.

“It’s a really beautiful place with really nice people, and nice pubs too,” she added. “We heard that it was really good for New Year’s Eve and that lots of things are happening. So why not come?”

But it wasn’t going to be too raucous for the pair, as they faced an early morning flight back home on New Year’s Day.

The Three Countdown Concert saw the 3Arena thronged as jubilant attendees welcomed The Coronas, Fatboy Slim, Kíla, Little Hours and Ryan Sheridan.

The star-studded bill attracted some famous faces too. Legendary goalkeeper Packie Bonner attended with his wife Ann, while models Nadia Forde and Sara Kavanagh also made an appearance.

Baz Ashmawy, Katherine Lynch and Yvonne Connolly also danced the night away at the glamorous event.

Kathryn Thomas and Keith Walsh hosted the evening, which continued on after the clock struck midnight.

Elsewhere in the capital, Lisa Hannigan, Booka Brass Band and Karl Spain were among an eclectic lineup of Irish acts that rang in 2016 at the Turning Pirate Mix Tape in Vicar Street.

There will be some relief from careless carousing this New Year’s Day, with an invitation to kick off resolutions with a 5K run in Phoenix Park.

Meanwhile, a series of 3D light projections will continue to adorn the façade of Iveagh House on St Stephen’s Green until midnight on January 1.

In Limerick city, The O’Malleys hosted a New Year concert of blues, folk and soul in Dolan’s Warehouse.

Electro-trad fiddler Daithí took to the stage alongside The Academic and Oh Boland in the Róisín Dubh in Galway, while Mick Flannery and his band played Cork Opera House.

Revellers in Dingle celebrated with a fireworks display, followed by a procession led by the Dingle Fife and Drum Band.

Meanwhile, Belfast toasted the New Year with a series of more retro events. Titanic Belfast hosted a James Bond-themed cocktail night, while The MAC regaled its guests with a Jazz Age-inspired speakeasy party.

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