Celebrations for St Patrick's Day
Today parades are taking place at home and around the world to mark St Patrick's Day.
For marchers and spectators in Ireland, the weather was generally dry though with some rain in the east.
In Dublin up to 3,000 marchers took part and as many as 500,000 people turned out to see it.
Lead by Grand Marshall Eamon Coughlan, marchers began their 3km journey through the city centre at midday, leaving from Parnell Square, passing down O'Connell Street, Dame Street and ending at St Patrick's Cathedral.
For more see our St Patrick's Day website.
The following Marching Bands took part in the Dublin parade on Monday 17th. March 2008:
AUBURN UNIVERSITY MARCHING BAND
Founded in 1897, this is the USA's oldest Marching Band. In 2004 they received the Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy, the nation's highest and most coveted award for college bands.
BRADLEY CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL BAND – CLEVELAND TENNESSEE
Founded in 1917, they were recently placed first in class at the USSBA Scholastic Marching Band Competition. This is their first trip overseas to attend the Dublin Parade.
"PRIDE OF THE IRISH" CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND – INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
Cathedral have received Division I ratings in music contests across the state. They have appeared on national TV and marched here in Dublin in 2000.
COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH MARCHING BAND – HOLLAND, PENNSYLVANIA
Established in 2002, Council have quickly built a reputation of spirit and excellence at local, national and international levels.
FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL PATRIOT BAND – BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA
In 1992 they were inducted into the National High School Band Director's Hall of Fame as "Band of the Year". They are now under the direction of Mr. Michael Moran.
GILBERT HIGH SCHOOL TIGER PRIDE BAND – PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Gilbert High School have a remarkable performance record and have consistently received Superior ratings in marching and concert festivals nationally.
HUNTSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL – HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA
With an enviable record of achievement, Huntsville are consistently rated superior in competitions. They have performed throughout the US and Europe. In 2004 they won first prize at the prestigious Gothenburg Music Festival in Sweden.
JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL BAND – LA PALMA, CALIFORNIA
This band has risen from 35 to 260 members since it's inception in 1993. Having received many superior rating, they performed at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Australia.
LOCK HAVEN UNIVERSITY MARCHING BAND – LOCK HAVEN, PENNSYLVANIA
Lockhaven Marching Band are now in their 67th year. The members range in age from 18 to 35.
SHORECREST HIGHLANDER HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND – SHORELINE, WASHINGTON
Shorecrest have performed and won every major parade in the Pacific Northwest. This is their 4th visit to Ireland.
TATE HIGH SCHOOL "SHOWBAND OF THE SOUTH" MARCHING BAND – CANTONMENT, FLORIDA
Tate have won countless competitions and earned the reputation as one of the top high schools bands in the US. They have marched in every major parade in the US.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS – CHAMPAIGNE, ILLINOIS
UIUC's is the world's largest college band program. In 1930 they hosted John Philip Sousa, who called them "The World's Greatest College Band" and donated his library to the school.
WEST BEND HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND – WEST BEND, WISCONSIN
The West Bend High School Marching Band was formed in the 1930s. The band has produced two CDs and has received numerous first and second place trophies in adjudicated parades.
YOUNGSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING EAGLES – YOUNGSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA
The Marching Eagles marched here in Dublin in 2003. They have 14 years of Superior Ratings at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Adjudication Festival.
CLONDALKIN YOUTH BAND – CLONDLAKIN, DUBLIN
Celebrating their 23rd anniversary this year, the Clondalkin Youth Band are All Ireland Champions, European Marching Band Champions and World Marching Champions. They are Ireland's largest marching band.
"STORICI SBANDIERATORI DELLE CONTRADE DI CORI": ITALIAN FLAGWAVERS – CORI, ITALY
Founded in 1976 in Italy this band practice the medieval waving of the flag from the 16th century. They consist of the Herald, Trumpeters, Drummers and Flag Wavers.
SANYO MARCHING BAND AND BATON TWIRLERS – HIROSHIMA, JAPAN
The esteemed Sanyo Band have won 6 gold and 3 Best Band of the Year Awards at the National Contest In Japan. The remarkable Baton Twirlers have received first prize for 20 consecutive years.