Patrick Duffy has been announced as the International Guest of Honour for Ireland’s national St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year on Friday, March 17.

Duffy, whose grandfather emigrated from Ireland to America in the 1920s, most recently visited Ireland in the summer of 2022 with his partner Linda Purl to trace his own Irish roots in Kilmovee, Co Mayo. 

Fittingly, Duffy was born on the global day of Irish celebration on March 17, and throughout his life, he has always maintained a deep pride and interest in his Irish heritage. 

Announcing Duffy as the International Guest of Honour on February 24, organizers said Duffy will be making the trip to Ireland along with tens of thousands of international visitors from the Irish global diaspora of over 80 million, seeking to connect with their roots, to sample contemporary and traditional Irish arts and culture, and to enjoy one of the world’s truly unique experiences on the streets of Dublin. 

St. Patrick’s Festival & @TourismIreland are thrilled to announce actor & director @therealpduffy as #InternationalGuestofHonour at the St Patrick’s Day Parade on Fri 17 Mar!

Patrick, of Irish descent, most recently visited Ireland in the summer of '22
@Media_IrelandUS #SPF23

— St. Patrick's Festival 🇮🇪🐍☘️💚 (@stpatricksfest) February 24, 2023

Born in 1949, Patrick Duffy was raised in a small town of 600 people in Montana. He moved to Seattle to study in the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington, before going on to work on stage and screen in New York and then Los Angeles.

Duffy’s tremendous worldwide audience appeal has been gained through three highly successful series. Starting with "Man From Atlantis," through his 13 years starring as Bobby Ewing on “Dallas” (including the unprecedented ‘dream season’ which he is brought back from the dead in the famous shower scene), and in seven seasons of the popular half-hour sit-com “Step by Step," Duffy has consistently been an audience favourite.

“Nothing gives me more pride than being asked to be guest of honour at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin," Duffy said.

“I can feel my grandfather’s joy in my returning to his homeland to represent the Duffy’s and express our gratitude for all this great country has given us. I feel like I am returning home and want to meet my extended family.”

Duffy will appear in the national St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin on March 17. The Parade commences at 12 midday and runs from Parnell Square to Cuffe St/Kevin St junction, for approximately two hours. 

With over 4,000 participants and an expected 500,000 people lining the streets, this year’s Parade promises to be the biggest, most spectacular parade ever produced on the streets of Dublin. 

For those who cannot attend in person, the Parade will be broadcast on RTÉ One and can be watched across the world on the RTÉ Player.

Richard Tierney, CEO at St. Patrick’s Festival, said: “We are so delighted to welcome Patrick Duffy to Ireland and to our national St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 

“Patrick is a bona fide legend of the screen and holds a special place in the hearts of so many Irish households, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to bring him centre stage for the Festival and the Parade.

"He is one of the many sons and daughters of Irish descent who will be making the pilgrimage home to Ireland this coming March, and we can’t wait to give him the welcome that he so richly deserves.”

Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome Patrick Duffy to Dublin and Ireland, as International Guest of Honour for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.

"As we continue our journey to rebuild overseas tourism to Ireland this year, our aim on St Patrick’s Day is to capitalise on the heightened exposure for Ireland. The parade and the festival will be seen by millions of people around the world, helping to inspire them to put Ireland on their holiday ‘wish-list’ for 2023.”

Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland, said: “St. Patrick’s Festival returns to Dublin this year with an amazing line-up of celebrations planned across 4 days in the city centre.

"The world-renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be bigger and better than ever this year, encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to come to the city and enjoy the festivities.

"The Festival will bring unforgettable experiences to life for visitors and showcase Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to people around the world.”

The National St. Patrick’s Festival, Dublin runs from March 16 to 19, 2023 and is made possible by the generous support of Principal Funders: the Government of Ireland, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, and Dublin City Council.

St. Patrick’s Festival 2023 is supported by many organisations, civic and commercial partners, and funders including Kia Ireland, Disney, Dublin Airport, National Museum of Ireland, Bulmers, Irish Ferries, Waterways Ireland, The Arts Council of Ireland, GOAL, the Welsh Government in Ireland, French Embassy in Dublin, the Gaeltacht under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030, RTÉ, The Irish Independent, FM104, IrishCentral and many more.

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