Musicians entertain 60,000 at event
A number of Irish artists including Jedward and Westlife played to an estimated 60,000 people at College Green in Dublin this evening.
The musicians entertained athe crowd ahead of a speech by US president Barack Obama.
Mundy, the Saw Doctors, the Coronas, Sharron Shannon and Imelda May also performed.
GAA commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh introduced a number of prominent Irish sports stars to the crowd including boxer Katie Taylor, Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane, golfer Padraig Harrington and the Irish rugby team captain Brian O’Driscoll, who was carrying the Heineken Cup his Leinster team won in Cardiff on Saturday.
Actor Brendan Gleeson spoke of Ireland’s past and its present economic difficulties. “I am fed up looking at the ground, it is time to stand up,” he said to wild applause from mostly youthful crowd. Saoirse Ronan and Stephen Rea also addressed the crowd.
Earlier, gardaí closed access to the event with only those already in the queue being granted access.
There have been reports of pushing and shoving, a lack of gardaí and stewards at certain points and a crush near the top of the queue. There were also reports of people leaping over barricades. There are no reports of injuries.
People started queuing from last night at barriers at the junction of Parliament Street and Dame Street for access to the event.
First in the queue was Dubliner Adrian Kavanagh, who started queueing at 11pm last night. "I thought there would be a few hundred people here by the time I got there, but I was the only one," he said.
He was joined by Maeve Beecher from Cork who came by bus from Cork last night. "We got about two hours' sleep last night. We didn't want to be caught in a huge queue."
A large screen has been erected near the junction of South William Street and Dame Street for the overflow.