Belfast Telegraph

St Patrick's Day parades in Northern Ireland - pictures and video from Belfast, Armagh, Strabane, Omagh and Newry

 

Thousands line the streets of Belfast on Sunday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The parade set off from City Hall to Writers Square, with a concert at Custom House Square
Thousands line the streets of Belfast on Sunday to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The parade set off from City Hall to Writers Square, with a concert at Custom House Square
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toast St Patrick’s Day at a parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow
A parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, where Kate presented shamrock to 1st Battalion the Irish Guards
Finn McKeown from Lurgan
Aoibheann Murphy from Belfast
Dark humour as a St Patrick’s Day float references the theft of an ATM
Strabane’s oldest resident, 101-year-old Pat Gillespie who led the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival parade through the town
An Orange Parade in Belfast celebrates the day
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The streets turned green yesterday as people across Ireland and beyond celebrated St Patrick's Day.

From Australia and Dubai to the United States, millions of revellers around the globe marked the feast of the Irish saint.

 

Northern Ireland's main parade was in Belfast - and it seemed like the world had come to party.

The city was awash with smiling people from Spain, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand and more, all with faces plastered in green paint and clutching the obligatory leprechaun hats to their heads as the wind threatened to blow them away.

LIVE: St Patrick’s Day Parade in Belfast ☘️

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Sunday, March 17, 2019

But no-one cared about the weather.

"That's probably the most Irish thing," joked west Belfast man John Beales.

"We had a bit of drizzle and it's breezy, but no-one cares," he said, manning his stall selling all things green and white.

The celebrations continued after the parade as thousands made their way to Custom House Square to party on with an open air concert. It kicked off in traditional style with popular Irish tunes from The Whistlin' Donkeys, and also featured Co Down singing star Catherine McGrath, before dance group The Vengaboys carried on the event into the evening.

"It's been a great day," said John. "This is the first time I've been in the city centre for the parade and it's wonderful to see so many people on the streets having a great time."

And just to prove the spirit of St Patrick captures hearts around the world, a Swedish leprechaun strolled around the corner. Felix, in the city with Swedish friends Daniel and Martina, had pushed the boat out to get into the party mood.

"This is a great day," he said. "Fantastic fun. We've watched the parade and now we're going to have a party with a few more pints of Guinness!"

Experiencing St Patrick's Day in Belfast for the first time were students Wiebke and Konstantin, from Germany.

"We're having a super time," said Wiebke. "I am wearing green underneath my coat, I promise! It's just a bit cold!"

Erasmus student Konstantin was also getting into the spirit of the occasion.

"It's fantastic to see the colour and sample the atmosphere," he said. "A brilliant day."

The international flavour continued with Jorde and Dan sinking a few pints as the strains of The Irish Rover belted out from Custom House Square.

They were enjoying the atmosphere with all their Spanish friends.

"I've been living and working in Belfast for two years now," said Jorde. "I love it and days like this you can see just how friendly and fun-loving the people of Ireland are."

Dan agreed. "This is the best city in the world for a party," he said.

Of the thousands joining in the celebrations, few could have travelled further than New Zealander Mark - and along with Aoife from Wexford, he had brought his four-legged friends into the city for the festivities.

Malamute huskies Kyt and Ruby were certainly attracting plenty of attention in their Irish jerseys.

But the day wasn't all about the international flavour, with Belfast families turning out in force as the parade snaked through the city centre streets.

"It's been brilliant for the kids," said Emma Wilson. "A super day for them."

Her friend Laura Gorman agreed, along with children Corlaleigh and Cohen.

In Londonderry, the city centre was a sea of green as St Patrick's Day celebrations filled Shipquay Street.

More than 10,000 people lined the pavements as over 700 performers from community, arts and sporting groups took part.

Derry City and Strabane District Mayor John Boyle, who led the parade, said it was a "tremendous day for the city and district when young people in particular showcased their tremendous imagination".

Big crowds also attended the annual parade in Downpatrick, Co Down, which began with the traditional vintage rally through the town.

Parades also took place in Newry, Strabane, Armagh, Omagh and Enniskillen.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out to mark St Patrick's Day when they travelled to Hounslow, west London, to visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards at its base, Cavalry Barracks.

The Royal couple took part in the traditional proceedings, watching 350 soldiers participate in the parade, with William taking the salute, and Kate handing out shamrocks to officers and warrant officers.

Closer to home, the reservists of The Royal Irish regiment celebrated St Patrick's Day across Northern Ireland. On Saturday Headquarters Company, B Company and C Company were presented with shamrocks at their respective Army Reserve Centres in Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Enniskillen. At its base in east Belfast, A Company marked the Patron Saint's day yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph