Dubliners say farewell at city's biggest-ever street party
THE biggest party Dublin has ever seen was still going strong as revellers young and old celebrated the first day of 2013 at an outdoor New Year's Day brunch and vintage tea dance.
Promises to get in shape, quit smoking, "kiss more girls" and "find an Irish husband" in 2013 were also posted on a bespoke "Resolution Tree" as part of The Big Brunch party in Dublin's Meeting House Square.
The party officially kicked off the first day of The Gathering 2013.
Dozens of private and Dublin City Council clean-up crews were tasked with mopping up after up to 55,000 revellers took to the streets on New Year's Eve for the second annual NYE Dublin Festival celebrations.
Aside from being Dublin's biggest-ever street party, musical history was also made at the "Countdown Concert" when one of the Ireland's most iconic bands, The Dubliners, made a surprise appearance in what they vowed was their last gig. It comes after their official final gig in Vicar Street on Sunday.
The trad music heroes treated 15,000 spectators to a grand finale that included an electrifying rendition of 'Dirty Old Town' accompanied by Rockabilly queen Imelda May with her baby Violet in her arms.
The open-air concert on College Green, which was illuminated by a giant screen projected onto the facade of Trinity College, was preceded by the dazzling People's Procession of Light in which fire breathers and walkers on stilts snaked through the city streets holding torches aloft and culminated in a free pyrotechnic display in St Stephen's Green.
"It was really an outstanding success," said NYE Dublin producer and promoter Paul Davis of Davis Events.
And he promised that 2013's New Year's Eve party will be bigger and better. "We're going to build on it year after year and build on the concert as well," he told the Irish Independent.
Dublin Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri said: "Thanks to all who came out last night and joined in the fantastic People's Procession of Light through Dublin's fair city. The Gathering has begun and it's great to welcome families and friends to Ireland, from abroad."
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar also applauded the two-day event which kicks off 2,500 other events taking place across the country this year.