Sunday 24 March 2019

Going green: Thousands on the move as we celebrate St Patrick's festivities

Green initiative: The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, illuminated in green as part of a Tourism Ireland initiative to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Photo: Tourism Ireland
Green initiative: The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, illuminated in green as part of a Tourism Ireland initiative to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Photo: Tourism Ireland
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

The great escape has begun with tens of thousands of people on the move for the St Patrick's bank holiday weekend.

The national celebration will see parades and parties taking place in towns and villages all over the country.

Dublin Airport is expecting more than 350,000 passengers to arrive and depart between today and Monday, which is a 6pc increase compared with last year's figures.

Passengers will be arriving for the St Patrick's festival celebrations, returning from Cheltenham, and travelling for Ireland's Six Nations rugby game in Cardiff tomorrow.

Both terminals have been festooned with decorations to celebrate Ireland's national day, and the airport is again taking part in the global greening initiative.

"Eleven separate areas around the airport's campus are going green, including Terminal One and Two and the airport's iconic original 1940s passenger terminal," said Dublin Airport spokesman Paul O'Kane.

Meanwhile, some 40,000 passengers will be welcomed through Cork Airport over the course of the bank holiday weekend.

The highlight of the weekend for many tourists and locals alike will be the festive parades taking place around the country.

More than 500,000 people will line the streets for the biggest parade in Dublin, which starts at noon and will make its way from Parnell Square down the east side of O'Connell Street (Clerys side) and on to Westmoreland Street.

In Cork's city centre, the 1pm parade on Sunday will be celebrating the theme "stories of Cork", with more than 3,000 participants taking part.

Meanwhile, a special photoshoot will take place tomorrow to celebrate the €1.2m repair and rehabilitation of the city's St Patrick's Bridge.

Some 158 people - representing the age of the bridge - who are named Patrick or Patricia in any language will gather on it for a photograph, after the city council put a call out for interested people.

In Galway city, this year's parade will assemble in the grounds of the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and will begin at 11.30am on Sunday. The theme this year is "diversity".

The biggest parade in Donegal will be held in Letterkenny, attracting 10,000 spectators. It begins at 3pm.

Meanwhile, it will be an early start for people in Dingle, Co Kerry, on Sunday.

The first of two parades begins at 6am.

Irish Independent

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