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St Patrick's Day 2017: Northern Ireland awash with a sea of green as thousands defy the rain for day of celebration

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St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

Saint Patrick, played by actor Marty Burns takes part in the cross community Saint Patrick's Day parade on March 17, 2017 in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Slaney river, a few miles from Down Cathedral, in 432 AD. From here Patrick travelled extensively spreading the teachings of Christianity before his death on 17th March 461 AD. He is buried at nearby Down Cathedral. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Saint Patrick, played by actor Marty Burns takes part in the cross community Saint Patrick's Day parade on March 17, 2017 in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that Saint Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Slaney river, a few miles from Down Cathedral, in 432 AD. From here Patrick travelled extensively spreading the teachings of Christianity before his death on 17th March 461 AD. He is buried at nearby Down Cathedral. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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Crowds gather for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Belfast city centre

Crowds gather for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Belfast city centre

The parade to Custom House Square ended with a concert starring X Factor’s Fleur East

The parade to Custom House Square ended with a concert starring X Factor’s Fleur East

Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke lead the St Patrick’s procession in Armagh

Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Richard Clarke lead the St Patrick’s procession in Armagh

LiamMcArdle.com

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge try a pint of Guinness

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge try a pint of Guinness

PA

Macrory Cup Final winners St Mary’s Grammar, Magherafelt

Macrory Cup Final winners St Mary’s Grammar, Magherafelt

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St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

The rain couldn't stop the crowds turning out to celebrate St Patrick's day with spectacular parades held across Northern Ireland. The Belfast procession from City Hall to Custom House Square featured everything from dance groups, pipe bands, Star Wars characters with an Irish twist and even a dinosaur.

Enjoying the atmosphere was Courtney and Stephen Dempsey, aged 9 and 10, along with Ruari (8) and his 52-year-old dad Jim Bradley, from Garvagh.

"It was very good and I liked St Patrick the best," said Courtney who had just shared a high five with one of the performers dressed as the patron saint.

"I saw a Stormtrooper," said an excited Stephen of the eye-catching group of Star Wars characters entertaining the crowds, "but at least he was wearing green".

Jim added: "All the colours were spectacular and everyone was just so nicely dressed, even if the weather was better last year."

Not letting the rain spoil the party atmosphere, his son Ruari added: "It was the best St Patrick's Day parade ever."

The party continued with a concert in Custom House Square, headlined by X Factor runner-up Fleur East.

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In Londonderry, proceedings got underway around noon in Guildhall Square.

Check out our galleries from the parades in - Derry - Belfast - Downpatrick - Dublin - Newry - Armagh - Photos from around the world

Undeterred by the weather, thousands of people lined the parade route which provided a rainbow of colour and culture.

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St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017
Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 17/3/2017 Crowds gather for the St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast City Centre on Friday. Thousands line the streets to watch the Parade from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland
Friday 17th March 2017
Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye ©
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast
St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday.
Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

Press Eye © Belfast - Northern Ireland Friday 17th March 2017 Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye © St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast St PatrickÕs Day celebrations are set to take place across Northern Ireland on Friday. Colourful festivities will be held in a number of towns and cities - with thousands of people expected to attend.

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast. 2017

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St Patrick's day Parade in Belfast. 2017

Keeping with the theme of the day, although in a somewhat non-traditional mode of transport - a huge effigy of St Patrick himself kicked off the start of the parade on a motortricycle.

Making their first appearance at the festival was the local Hindu Association who brought elements of their own 'Holi' festival, otherwise known as the festival of colours, to the parade.

Isobel McGarrigle, from Limavady, along with her husband Mike and two children, Becca (10) and Jodie (7) all agreed it was well worth coming up to Derry, despite the gloomy forecast.

Isobel said: "We were in two minds about whether we would come or not because the forecast was for heavy rain but it's not that bad, so I am glad we didn't stay at home.

"The atmosphere is brilliant, it is very well organised and there is absolutely nobody drunk which is a great thing to see when you have young children with you."

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In Armagh, the carnival set off from the Palace Demesne to the city centre where crowds enjoyed a concert from Celtic rock band More Power To Your Elbow.

In Downpatrick, the patron saint, aka actor Marty Burns, was spotted taking a pre-parade selfie with members of the Magnus Vikings Association.

A pilgrimage also took place from Saul Church towards Down Cathedral where it is believed the patron saint is buried.

In Newry, the streets also came alive with the parade departing Queen's Quay, with entertainment from Irish dancers and tribal drummers.

In Dublin, there were ridiculous costumes galore as the massive parade entertained thousands on the city streets, with Irish President Michael D Higgins watching the celebrations.

In the US, New York, Boston and Chicago were among the major cities celebrating everything Irish.

Famous landmarks across the world were also lit up in green lights including the Great Wall of China, Niagra Falls and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, away from the many parades there were three blockbuster schools' cup finals in rugby, GAA and football.

In the rugby clash, RBAI won their third consecutive title after taking on Methody at the Kingspan stadium in east Belfast with a nail-bitingly close final score of 12-8.

In GAA, there were ecstatic scenes in Armagh's Athletic grounds as St Mary's of Magherafelt made history by winning their first title over 19-time champions St Colman's College from Newry with a final score of 0-19 to 0-13.

In football, Grosvenor successfully defended the Schools' Cup with a 3-1 victory over St Columb's in extra time at Seaview.


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