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Hundreds of thousands brave the weather to celebrate St Patrick's Day

Hundreds of thousands of people have braved the weather to celebrate St Patrick's Day, with festivities in cities, towns and villages throughout Ireland.

President Michael D. Higgins joined the crowds that thronged central Dublin for the country's flagship parade, which got under way around midday just before the blustery weather turned wet.

But the odd shower did not dampen spirits as pageant ensembles and arts groups from the capital and further afield delighted onlookers lining the streets with a riot of colour and costumes, larger-than-life puppets and dancing performers.

The parade snaked its way along the 2.5km route from Parnell Square across the Liffey to St Patrick's Cathedral over several hours in the afternoon.

More than 100,000 overseas visitors travelled to enjoy the spectacle.

Bands from the Bahamas, France, the United States, Switzerland and Germany were among the energetic soundscape for the carnival.

Irish sailor and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy was this year's Grand Marshal.

Other parts of the country were worse hit with the inclement conditions, with some events cancelled because of high winds and driving rain.

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From Belfast Telegraph