“St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin has always been on my bucket list. We had to do it. So here we are and it’s great’
Almost half a million people took part in Dublin’s largest St Patrick’s Day parade since 2019, as locals and tourists alike gathered to green up the capital’s streets.
Resident Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina were guests of honor at the parade along with the international guest of honor, former Dallas Actor Patrick Duffy, who traveled in a 1965 Cadillac Coupe De Ville among the 4,000 attendees.
Duffy was presented with an emerald cake before the start of the parade for his 74th birthday and it seemed his wish was half fulfilled. “I wish – no rain,” the actor said as he blew out the candles.
There was a little drizzle throughout the parade, but the crowd avoided a deluge.
Mr Duffy’s grandfather emigrated to America from Ireland in 1920 and he proudly paid tribute to his heritage yesterday.
The Ireland women’s national football team was the collective Grand Marshal for this year’s parade, led by manager Vera Pauw, defender Diane Cauldwell and former player Paula Gorham, who scored a hat-trick on her debut with the Ireland women’s senior team.
The theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival is ‘One’, a symbol of uniting people from all over the world to celebrate being Irish.
And in a sobering moment, unlike the green theatre, a young boy peered out a window at a hotel housing refugees in North Dublin, as the crowd below walked to the parade.
Young people in green hats crowded the statue of Daniel O’Connell for the best view of the floats, while children sat on every inch of free wall.
Jennie Tyrell took two of her children, Edie, 4, and Bea, 6, to the parade but left two-year-old Fearne at home.
The family have just returned to Dublin after living in Canada.
“I feel tears. It’s just unreal to be at home. All three of my children were born in Canada, but they all have Irish accents, like me and their father,” she said.
“The atmosphere is great today and it doesn’t matter that it rained a bit, it was still great.”
Husband and wife Alastair and Jackie Swift managed to get a good spot on O’Connell Street despite only arriving in Dublin at 6:50am from London.
“We came to rugby tomorrow, we got tickets for it,” Ms Swift said. “We thought we’d watch the parade while we’re here, it’s a great atmosphere.
“The parade is huge and we’re looking forward to a pint and dinner and hopefully winning rugby but Ireland were brilliant so we’ll have to wait and see.”
The American Teresa Carlin and her partner Steve Bunn traveled from Philadelphia.
“Dublin on St Patrick’s Day has always been on my wish list,” said Ms Carlin. “So, we said we have to do it, and here we are — it’s great.”
Street vendor Michael Stapleton, 67, did a roaring business selling green, white and orange garlands and scarves to the crowd.
“I’ve been selling since I was 14 years old,” said Mr. Stapleton. “I almost lost my life in the Dublin bombing. I was only 18 and working in Dunnes Stores.
“I’m grateful that all these years later I’m still selling here on the street.”
Mr Stapleton said the parade was “nice and relaxed”.
Thanks to a restriction on the bar trade until 4 p.m., there was no antisocial behavior.
“This is a day to celebrate being Irish, our history and soaking up the culture, it’s not a day to get drunk in the streets,” he said.
While the drizzle didn’t turn to rain, Gerry Doyle, manager of Madigan’s pub on Talbot Street, waited to welcome customers for a busy day ahead.
“It’s great to see. There is no better place for St Patrick’s Day than Dublin.”
Three customers already in full swing on St Patrick’s Day were Tom Byrne from Rush, North Co Dublin and his two brothers-in-law Magnus and Mateus Kempe from Sweden.
Mr Byrne wore a comedy hat and green shamrock t-shirt, while his relatives sported the familiar large green leprechaun hats and red beards.
“I had to do it, get dressed for the boys for the day,” Mr Byrne said.
“It’s their first time in Dublin on Paddy’s Day so I wanted to make it extra fun.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/st-patricks-day-in-dublin-was-always-on-my-bucket-list-we-had-to-do-it-so-were-here-and-its-great-42392962.html “St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin has always been on my bucket list. We had to do it. So here we are and it’s great’