The earliest parade in Ireland? Kingdom kicks off St Patrick's Day celebrations at midnight

Meadhbh McGrath

Every year, Kerry boasts the first St Patrick’s Day parade of the day as the Dingle Fife and Drum Band take to the streets at 6am.

This year, in a special effort to commemorate 2016, Dingle managed to get off to an even earlier start with the first parade of the day beginning at midnight in the small village of Ballydavid.

It took place this morning as a sizeable group marched between two pubs with each member holding a blazing pitchfork topped with a piece of burning turf.

At dawn, the Dingle Fife and Drum Band picked up the long tradition that sees enthusiastic revellers marching around the town to bring a rollicking start to the day.

The musical parade reaches St Mary’s Church at 6.30am, where the local parish priest offers mass for the band, who in turn play a number of tunes.

It finishes up around 7.30am with a group rendition of Amhran na bhFiann.

The Kingdom's largest parade is set to kick off this afternoon at 1pm from Ashmount Terrace, Dingle.