St Patrick's Day celebrations have taken place across the country.

The largest parade in Dublin included up to 3,000 performers and was watched by several hundred thousand people, including the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.

Organisers of the Dublin parade say that 650,000 people turned out to watch the event.

Cork hosted the second biggest parade of the day with thousands of people turning out to see the event, which had a special emphasis this year on community groups.

Limerick had the biggest military parade in the country with over 200 troops taking part, and a flyover by the Air Corps' newest helicopter.

And in Galway city, conditions were far from ideal following torrential rain this morning but up to 50,000 people turned out.

Tullamore's parade also had a military flavour with several groups from the Defence Forces taking part.

The message was to have a good time and take it easy in Waterford City.

And there was a special emphasis on children at Tipperay town's parade where over 600 children took part.

Meanwhile, gardaí are appealing to motorists to be careful on the roads over the weekend.

They say that 60 people were arrested for suspected drink driving offences between midnight last night and 10.30am this morning.

A special Mass was held this morning in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral.

It was presided over by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the President, Mary McAleese, delivered a reading.

Iarnród Éireann said it expects 200,000 people to travel by train over the weekend while more than 330,000 passengers are due to travel through Dublin Airport.

Meanwhile, MEAS - the organisation that promotes the mature enjoyment of alcohol in society - has called on St Patrick's revellers to drink sensibly.