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Over 50,000 attend London St Patrick’s Day parade

St Patrick’s Day was celebrated abroad, with more than 50,000 people joining the annual parade in London.

The procession of Irish marching bands, dance troupes and pageantry started in Hyde Park at 12pm with Panti Bliss acting as grand marshal.

The parade went through Piccadilly, Pall Mall and Whitehall and ended with live performances at Trafalgar Square.

Crowds also congregated for a parade in other cities such as Birmingham to celebrate the holiday.

Performers take part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Birmingham

At Mons Barracks in Aldershot, the Irish Guards marched in a parade led by their mascot – a three-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Seamus.

It was the first time in nearly a year that a full contingent of 250 Irish Guardsmen came together for a parade, with the last occasion being the coronation of the King in May 2023, according to the British Army.

Commanding Officer James Aldridge said: “St Patrick’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the friendships that are so fundamental to our regimental ethos and identity.

Seamus the Irish Wolfhound led the parade of the Irish Guards

“With our busy and diverse operational schedules, it is the most prominent occasion for the regimental family to come together, and we are really looking forward to welcoming Micks of all ranks, from across the army, past and present, and their families.

“We will raise a glass to those unable to attend this year,” he said.

While St Patrick’s Day falls on 17 March, some parades were moved to Saturday in the US because Sunday is a day of worship for the Christian faithful.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet was told that Tourism Ireland will no longer promote the Global Greening as part of its St Patrick’s Day plans.

The campaign had led to buildings across the world going green, including the Opera House in Sydney; the Empire State Building in New York; the Niagara Falls in Canada; and the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.

In 2023, the initiative did not go ahead because of the energy crisis.

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