THE streets echoed to the sound of Irish music but the crowd was overwhelmingly foreign.
An estimated 12,000 tourists packed out pubs and concert venues in Dublin over the weekend for the Temple Bar Trad Fest.
Organisers of the annual event calculate that the weekend of Irish traditional music, dance and storytelling brings in more than €6m for the venues and pubs between Dame Street and the River Liffey.
"It's what kicks the year off really, so it really launches Temple Bar and the city on an international stage," organiser Martin Harte said.
"We would have launched the promotion of this festival last year in June in Switzerland and then Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Berlin. We travelled to all of those countries promoting the festival so it's hugely important to Temple Bar."
Musicians Paddy Casey and Declan O'Rourke, as well as the actor Stephen Rea, performed at a gala event last night, which closed the festival.
The fundraising concert in City Hall was to raise money to care for the troubadour musician and traditional composer Pecker Dunne, who is now in his late 70s.