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Leon Cummins at Cork's St Patrick's Festival. Pic: Larry Cummins
Leon Cummins at Cork's St Patrick's Festival. Pic: Larry Cummins
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St Patrick celebrated around the world as thousands take to the streets of Cork

ST Patrick's Day celebrations kicked off across the globe today with millions of people taking part in celebrations and parades all over the world.

Here in Cork, thousands descended on the city centre for the annual Cork Parade the highlight of the St Patrick's Weekend festival.

Check out our gallery of pictures highlighting a few of the thousands who turned up.

Cork Airport saw a boost in travel figures over the weekend as thousands of tourists and returning locals gather in the city and county to enjoy the festivities.

Awaiting friends flying in on the Amsterdam flight yesterday morning was German native Alexander Berk who is now working in Cork. Two of Alexander's college friends from home made the trip and the trio are planning on spending the weekend exploring Cork anf the wider region.

“We all studied in Arnhem but now I am here in Cork so we have met here for St Patrick's Day,” he said.

“The plan is to show them around Cork and do the Wild Atlantic Way.

“We will be doing some St. Patrick's Day celebrating and then taking a weekend trip along the coast.” Also planning on taking in the sights were Dutch friends Paul Middel, Freddy Kalway, Yuri Meiburg and Patrick Niezen.

Freddy, who has lived in Galway, has been appointed trip leader.

“We plan on seeing the parade, being cultural and enjoying the good craic,” he said.

Dutch visitors to Cork for St Patrick's Day: Paul Middel, Freddy Kalway, Yuri Meiburg and Patrick Niezen. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Dutch visitors to Cork for St Patrick's Day: Paul Middel, Freddy Kalway, Yuri Meiburg and Patrick Niezen. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
“We are only here for the weekend so it's too short to see the whole coast but we will take a short Atlantic trip and go to the Cliffs of Moher.” “We have a similar carnival in Holland, it's called Carnaval, but it is not religious, so we would like to see how it goes in Ireland,” Patrick added.

“Also I'd like to visit some of the coast and the town so it's a cultural trip aswell.” First time visitor Tony Smith from California was all set to embrace the St Patrick's weekend. He was collected at the airport by fellow American Alexis Maye, who is living in Ballyphehane and studying in UCC.

“It's my first time in Cork, first time in Ireland and I am very excited about it,” he said.

“I hope to have a good time and see the festivities and taste some good food.” Alexis' itinerary included taking in some trad music as well as today's parade, as well as giving Tony “a taste of good Irish craic”.

Staff at Cork Airport have been particularly busy already this month, with figures already up 5% this month on the same period last year. All in all, some 30,000 travellers are expected to pass through the terminal this weekend.