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BBC NI's Audrey Carville hears about the festival
from organiser Maria Moynihan
 real 28k

Friday, 20 April, 2001, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Dublin revives St Patrick's Day
The St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin is traditionally well attended
Dublin has always hosted one of the largest parades
The organisers of Ireland's postponed St Patrick's Day events have vowed to go ahead with next month's rescheduled celebrations.

The annual events, which normally involve scores of parades throughout Ireland, were called off on 17 March because of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Government ministers in Dublin have agreed that events can now go ahead over three days from 18 May providing no new alerts emerge before then.

Friday is the first day the Irish Republic has been officially regarded as free of foot-and-mouth following a 30-day period after the detection of the lone outbreak.

Saint Patrick's Day celebrations
The festivities have moved from March to May
It was discovered on a sheep farm close to the County Louth border with Northern Ireland.

From midnight on Thursday most of the trade restrictions imposed by the European Union in response to the Louth case were formally lifted.

This means the export of food products can begin again from Louth and that beef and dairy goods can be sold abroad from other parts of the Irish Republic without special certification.

St Patrick's Day is likely to be celebrated chiefly through a major event in Dublin.

Maria Moynihan, the festival's chief executive, said: "The festival parade will take place on the Sunday. There will be the usual huge input from overseas, but the whole event will be uniquely Irish."

"There will be a large input from international groups, and we are expecting as big an attendance as last year - if not bigger."

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See also:

17 Mar 01 | Europe
Down in the mouth in Ireland
17 Mar 98 | stpatrick
The day the world turns green
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