St Pat’s party is ‘one of the best’

by Gazette Reporter
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ST PATRICK’S Day celebrations within the city centre was “possibly one of the best St Patrick’s days”, according to Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy.
While happy celebrations on the day were marred by violent brawls and drunken disorder, with some captured on video, the event passed off “reasonably enough” for gardai as they contended with one of the busiest days of the year.
A Garda spokesman said: “Considering the numbers that were around, it was reasonably quiet.
“There were very few arrests throughout the parade itself; there was a handful of arrests made afterwards. We had lots of proactive intervention to prevent public order [offences]. The off licences remained closed until 3-4pm. Dublin Bus throughout informed us of any groups coming in carrying carry-outs [alcohol] and we met them at the bus terminal as they arrived, and we confiscated all the drink from them.
“The number of arrests was lower than most years,” he said.
Between 10am and 5pm within the parade route, gardai helped around 18 people receive medical treatment for various reasons, with six being hospitalised, including one person with a possible fractured arm after a fall; two drink-related injuries, including a 14-year-old boy; one for substance abuse, a diabetic patient and one facial injury.
Chief Superintendent Leahy said: “We see this as one of our better years. Certainly, over the past four years, we have seen year-on-year improvement.”
About half a million people lined the city streets between Parnell Square and St Patrick’s Cathedral to witness the nation’s largest celebration.
This year’s parade adopted the theme of Celebrate Now, and featured bands and performers from around the world, led by grand marshal, comedian Brendan O’Carroll.
The Gazette asked tourists at the parade how their day was going and what they thought of the city on this national day of celebration.
Prasanth Sukumar from India attended the parade with his wife and two young children and said that this year’s festival was by far the most colourful.
He said: “The floats and performances are really fantastic and there seems to be a lot of life from everyone taking part in this year’s parade. It’s definitely the most colourful [I have seen].”
A high school class from Florida said they were overwhelmed with the friendliness and hospitality they received during their stay.
Ramon Garcia from Spain, who went to the parade with his wife, daughter and twin sons, said: “Everyone seems to have smiles on their faces and you get so much more out of the parade compared to watching it on the TV.”

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