THE skies were monochrome grey, but it was never going to stop the green splashed fun as thousands of revelers braved the damp conditions across Britain to mark St Patrick’s weekend 2015.
A chilly, damp air hung around London on Sunday and attendance figures – The Mayor’s Office estimated that 95,000 people turned out for the parade and festival, down from 125,000 last year – were reflective of the foul conditions.
However, those who braved the weather were treated to a couple of unexpected appearances.
Dublin folk hero Damien Dempsey took to the stage in Trafalgar Square for a storming set whilst the Liam McCarthy Cup made an appearance around the stalls.
Former Kilkenny goalkeeper David Herity and star forward Eoin Larkin brought the trophy.
Earlier another sporting legend, Kent-based Barry McGuigan, led the stunning parade, which kicked off at Green Park and snaked through to Whitehall.
The boxing hero was followed by more than 70 Irish organisations, where county banners were proudly displayed.
A gigantic mechanical bishop further helped to thrill the colourfully-costumed masses.
Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Parade was also affected by the weather.
The popular event, which normally attracts up to 90,000 people onto the streets of Digbeth – the Irish heart of the city – drew just 60,000 revelers.
A serious motorway accident, in which two cars collided on the M6 motorway just before 8am, caused hours of traffic jams in the surrounding area and may have contributed to the low attendance as many were delayed.
Among them was The Irish Post photographer Chris Egan, who said: “It seemed it was a pretty serious accident, which kept the road closed for hours. It delayed me from getting into Birmingham for over an hour, but luckily I didn’t miss the parade.”
But for the 60,000 who did make it to the city for the event there was plenty of colour, craic and cheer as Lord Mayor of Birmingham Shafique Shah, whose grandmother was a Dubliner, was flanked by scores of dancers, walkers and even a range of tractors who took to the streets.
On Saturday, Coatbridge’s town centre was awash with green around a brace of music and dance stages.
Their party carried on through the night well after The Wakes had rocked the Media Bar on Main Street.
Meanwhile Glasgow’s Family Fun Day was a resounding success.
Isabelle Gray, from Glasgow’s Irish Heritage Foundation, hailed the indoor jamboree, at Merchant Square, as a “really great” event.
“There was a good crowd. Normally we get about 6,000 people and it seemed as though it was just as busy this year,” added Gray.
Aided by more favourable weather and the event being held indoors, the Square was buzzing thanks to entertainment from local bands and dancers and a wide range of stalls.
The Glasgow candidate for Mary of Dungloe was selected (Joanne Ferry) whilst dignitaries included Minister Joe McHugh and Irish Console General Pat Bourne in what were a successful series of events north of the border.