There will be rain on many of the St Patrick’s Day parades but it will feel a lot milder than of late.
It will be a relatively balmy 11 to 14 degrees tomorrow, but the milder air will bring with a lot of heavy showers with it which will cross the country from midday. Where and when the showers will fall is hard to predict at this stage.
The St Patrick’s long weekend coincides with the final game of the Six Nations and Ireland’s quest to win the Grand Slam against an England team which suffered a record defeat to France last weekend.
Dublin Airport has said that it will welcome 432,000 passengers over the St Patrick’s weekend. Of those 212,000 visitors will fly into Dublin Airport - some for the rugby but most for the St Patrick’s festivities.
Many major towns and cities have taken advantage of St Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday to create three or four day festivals. The largest is in Dublin where the St Patrick’s Festival which was established in 1995 and now marks the start of the tourism season.
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The Dublin parade begins at midday from Parnell Square and ends at Kevin Street. The grand marshals will be the Ireland women’s football team that qualified for the World Cup. They will be represented by Ireland manager Vera Pauw, defender Diane Caldwell and former international Paula Gorham. Former Dallas star Patrick Duffy is acting as International Guest of Honour.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘One’, inviting people from across the world to ‘come to Dublin and celebrate together as one’ this St Patrick’s Day.
Irish Rail has announced extra intercity and Dart trains for the Dublin parade and late night services to Maynooth, Greystones, Howth and Dundalk. Luas services on the red and green lines with operate Sunday opening hours and there will also be partial closures on both lines to facilitate the parade. Bus Éireann and Expressway services will operate a Sunday schedule on St Patrick’s Day.
Cork city’s parade will begin at 1pm, taking place from the South Mall to Grand Parade, and is called A Century of Stories and marks 100 years of Irish statehood.
Cork is also having a four-day St Patrick’s Festival with the Lee Sessions of traditional music being held in various pubs throughout the city. Nano Nagle Place market will host local artists from across Cork and the St Patrick’s Hill Ball Run in which 12,000 multicoloured balls will cascade down St Patrick’s Hill will be in aid of the Cork Life Centre. It takes place on Sunday at 2pm.
Galway city’s St Patrick’s Festival will run from St Patrick’s Day to Sunday. The city’s parade begins at 11.30am and runs from University Road to Prospect Hill.
The 2023 parade will be led by two grand marshals in an open top bus. They are Connacht Rugby director of rugby, Andy Friend, and 11-year-old Saoirse Ruane, who has helped collect millions of euro for cancer research since her appearance on the Late Late Toy Show in 2020.
There will be three days of free outdoor gigs taking place in Eyre Square as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day weekend in Galway.
Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival includes the parade at 12pm from O’Connell Street to Henry Street and the 51st Limerick International Band Championship on Sunday.
Waterford will host its second St Patrick’s Festival. The parade will go from The Quays to the Mall from 1pm. Before the parade there will be the presentation of the national flag on the Mall. Numerous events have been organised around the city until Sunday.
Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day parade takes place from Belfast City Hall at 1.30pm and will loop around the city returning to City Hall.