Hundreds of thousands expected to attend Saint Patrick's Day parades

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend over 100 parades and festivities in cities, towns and  villages across the country today to mark Saint Patrick’s Day.

The theme of this year’s Dublin parade is story telling.

It  will feature marching bands from Ireland, the USA and Germany as well as street theatre and pageant companies including Artastic, Dowtcha puppets and Spraoi.

The Dublin parade starts at Parnell square at noon and with  hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend festivities in the capital.

Parade watchers are advised to leave themselves plenty of travel time and to take public transport into the city centre.

Motorists are also advised that many streets in Dublin’s city centre will be closed from early in the morning until 6 o’clock on Sunday evening.

Also, Merrion Square south will be closed until 6 am on Monday to accommodate the St. Patrick’s Festival Merrion Square Funfair.

There also will be parades held  in other European capitals, including Paris and Copenhagen.

 The Dublin parade will be shown live on RTE 1 television and streamed on the RTE Player.