St Patrick’s Day parades: Police warning as public events return

St Patrick’s Day parades: Police warning as public events return

Media caption, St Patrick’s Day parades return to IrelandHundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets on the island of Ireland as St Patrick’s Day events returned for the first time in three years.Parades and other festivities were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.Events returned across the globe and…

Media caption,

St Patrick’s Day parades return to Ireland

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets on the island of Ireland as St Patrick’s Day events returned for the first time in three years.

Parades and other festivities were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Events returned across the globe and about 400,000 people attended the parade in Dublin.

Major events also took place in cities such as New York and Washington.

Image source, PACEMAKER

Image caption,

Crowds gathered to watch the parade in Belfast city centre

In Northern Ireland, there were St Patrick’s Day parades in Downpatrick, County Down, and Armagh, each with special connections to Ireland’s patron saint.

The city’s council has been hosting a series of events this year from 10-20 March, including the Beat Carnival Parade which passed through the city centre on Thursday.

Media caption,

Belfast is set to stage its first St Patrick’s Day parade since the coronavirus pandemic

After promising the city would “come alive with colour and performances”, Belfast Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl said “it means so much to have St Patrick’s Day back”.

During the event on Thursday, she told BBC News NI people had deserved “a bit of a party” after the challenges posed by the pandemic.

However, despite encouraging people to enjoy the day, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said “unruly behaviour caused by people who celebrate to excess will not be tolerated”.

St Patrick’s Day: Full coverage

Ch Insp Gavin Kirkpatrick urged young people to “stay away from the Holyland” area of south Belfast, explaining it was a residential area and “not a party or nightlife destination”.

In previous years, there have been clashes with police and antisocial behaviour in the area, which is home to many students, around St Patrick’s Day.

Image source, PAcemaker

Image caption,

Ch Insp Gavin Kirkpatrick said the Holyland area was not a party destination

“We are keen to ensure that all young people are aware of the risks associated with criminal and anti-social behaviour, for their safety and future educational and career prospects,” Ch Insp Gavin Kirkpatrick said.

He added the warning was also “to protect local residents who are feeling particularly vulnerable” because of the day’s events.

‘Rebirth and renewal’

As legend has it, St Patrick worked on Slemish in County Antrim when he was first brought to Ireland.

And following his footsteps on Thursday, big crowds climbed to the top to mark his feast day.

Image caption,

Crowds gathered at Slemish on Thursday, where legend has it St Patrick worked when first brought to Ireland

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council expected 1,500 trekkers throughout the day.

Bus loads took crowds from the nearby village of Broughshane where a festival took place with traditional music and dance, street theatre and an artisan market.

In Londonderry, the city’s spring carnival festival took place, with the council estimating a crowd of about 35,000 spectators.

Image source, PACEMAKER

Image caption,

Thousands watched the St Patrick’s Day parade in Belfast for the first time in three years

The theme was based around rebirth and renewal.

Earlier, members of the Apprentice Boys, one of the Protestant Loyal Orders, paraded for St Patrick’s Day in the city.

The march is held separately from the main St Patrick’s Day parade in Derry.

“For too many years people thought it wasn’t something people from the Apprentice Boys or from the Protestant tradition should be engaged in, but it is a day for everyone,” Stephen Porter from the Apprentice Boys told BBC Radio Foyle.

“It has been a great success,” he said.

Image caption,

Downpatrick’s parade is popular because of the town’s many links with St Patrick

In Downpatrick, where Ireland’s saint is believed to have been buried beside the town’s cathedral, there was a concert in the town.

Armagh City, where historians believe St Patrick established a church in 445 AD, held a community parade, with another large parade in Newry on Thursday afternoon.

Image caption,

Large crowds gathered to watch the St Patrick’s Day parade in Derry

The St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin also made a comeback on Thursday after a break because of the pandemic.

Its parade left Parnell Road at midday and crossed O’Connell Bridge on its way to a finish in Kevin Street.

Image source, Brian Lawless/PA

Image caption,

Many turned out to watch the parade through Dublin

A special St Patrick’s Day video greeting from Ireland to the world, with Paul Brady’s iconic The Island song, was published to mark Ireland’s solidarity and support with the people of Ukraine.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister), Micheál Martin, is currently in Washington, but on Wednesday night tested positive for Covid-19.

On Thursday, he held a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden.

Northern Ireland ministers Conor Murphy and Gordon Lyons are also in Washington, as is former deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader Colum Eastwood.

Zelenskyy tells Russian soldiers if they surrender ‘we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated — as people’ Previous post Zelenskyy tells Russian soldiers if they surrender ‘we will treat you the way people are supposed to be treated — as people’
Interest rates rise again to counter higher prices Next post Interest rates rise again to counter higher prices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.