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O'Connell Street during the 2013 St Patrick's Day Parade

Snow falls as Ireland celebrates St Patrick’s Day and The Gathering

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O'Connell Street during the 2013 St Patrick's Day Parade

Ireland has gone green for St Patrick’s Day – and the country has been painted white as snow fell and the cold snap deepened.

Thousands of tourists, attracted by The Gathering, lined the streets of Dublin as snow fell across the East Coast.

The snow was quickly followed by rain but the conditions failed to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm.

The newly branded People’s Parade began the festivities with 8,000 invitees marching before the main event.

The parade itself took off at noon local time in the capital to follow a route through the city from Parnell Square to O’Connell Street, Westmoreland Street and Dame Street before heading towards Christchurch and finishing at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The parade, with members of the publicly actively encouraged to join in, was led by boy band singer Nicky Byrne from Westlife.

Marching bands from around the world, many of them from America, added to the pomp and ceremony.

The Irish Times reported
that volunteers from Dublin Pride and BeLongTo represented the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the main parade, the first time such a large LGBT group will take part in the annual event.

Cork, Belfast, Waterford and Galway hosted their traditional parades with other events held in towns across the country.

Famous landmarks around the world, including the Egyptian pyramids, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, the Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, New York’s Empire State Building and Berlin’s TV Tower went green for the day.

The day began in traditional style in County Kerry with the Dingle parade kicking off at 6am, a tradition since the Land War of the 1870s.

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