Dubliners were left shocked as a snake made its way up Mary Street in the capital – years after St Patrick banished his likes from Irish shores.

The small snake attracted hordes of onlookers as police made their bid to catch him.

Many passers-by took photographs as officers tried to tempt the pale yellow, black and brown reptile into a box according to the Irish Independent.

The paper reports that the escaped animal posed no threat to the public despite its appearance.

James Hennessy, a snake expert who owns the Reptile Village in Kilkenny, explained to the paper that it was a young, non-poisonous, boa constrictor.

Hennessy believes the snake is about a year old and accustomed to humans.

He said: “It’s not acting defensively, he’s well spread out so he’s used to humans.

“They are really good at squeezing through areas that they shouldn’t. They won’t go far, usually less than 100 metres from where they’ve escaped.”

The report says the snake appeared to be a number of generations away from a thoroughbred, meaning it was likely to have been born in Ireland for a breeder.

Hennessey added: “It is becoming increasingly common for pet snakes to escape, or to be dumped, but most can’t survive more than a few weeks in Ireland’s climate.”

Boas can grow to upwards of 12ft long depending on its genes.

They are non-poisonous constrictors native of tropical Central and South America.