St Patrick's Day celebrations kick off around the country

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets later to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets later to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

GAA legend Michael O'Muircheartaigh fronts the parade in Dublin, which begins at midday.

The famous voice of Gaelic football and hurling commentary will be the face of the showcase event of the capital's five-day festival in honour of the national saint.

As well as dozens of performing groups from this country, the multi-cultural parade will also feature acts from around Europe, India, Africa and the USA.

MEAS, the organisation that promotes the mature consumption of alcohol, has called for people not to go overboard while celebrating today.

"Historically there has been the phrase drowning the shamrock - and we have had incidences in the past where excess has marred festivities," spokesperson Fionnuala Sheehan said.

"We have this year a lovely opportunity because many people can enjoy a two to three day break."

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