The streets of Dublin were packed to the brim with people celebrating Ireland, Source: St Patrick's Festival

On St Patrick’s Day, Ireland showed solidarity with Ukraine

On St Patrick’s Day, Ireland showed solidarity with Ukraine

A river of shamrock and emerald green washed the streets of Dublin, as 400,000 people flocked to the parade

Yesterday, around 400,000 people attended the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, marking the occasion in public for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. At the same time, while Ireland celebrated its national holiday, its history and culture, many of the participants in the parade decided to show their solidarity with Ukraine.

The Ukrainian flag was visible all around the city, even as thousands of people wearing emerald green and shamrock packed the parade stands, the streets and the roofs of buildings. It hung from lamp posts and from buildings, while many visitors carried the blue and yellow.

Furthermore, the parade delegations of public services in the city, most notably the national ambulance service and the fire department marched with the Ukrainian flag.

Bridging the gap with the Irish diaspora

As the saying goes: "The Irish built America", but more importantly, many of the Irish and their descendants live in America. Emigration has been a constant theme in the development of the Irish nation.

Since the 18th century,  between 9 and 10 million people born in Ireland have left the island. This number seems especially huge when considering that the Emerald Isle’s population peaked in 1840 at 8.5 million people.

In 1845, however, the Great Potato Famine caused a massive loss of life, both from hunger and migration, of which the population has yet to recover as it currently stands at 4.9 million. Nevertheless, the Irish who have moved abroad have kept a tight connection to the culture of their homeland and now more than 70 million people around the globe have at least some Irish descent.

At the same time, the diaspora has greatly contributed to the reputation of Ireland itself, making St Patrick’s Day something of a global event.

The parade in Dublin traditionally includes delegations from Irish communities across the world, celebrating a mixture of Irishness and international culture. This year it featured marching bands from the USA, belly dancers from India, delegations from Brazil, Canada and more.



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