Parades and festivities marking St Patrick's Day have taken place at home and abroad.

Organisers of the parade in Dublin said 483,000 people attended the event in the city today.

The weather appears to have affected the attendance, which was down on last year.

But there was plenty of colour, music and dance for those who turned out in the cold and rain to watch the parade.

It was preceded by a 'People's Parade', in which thousands of foreign visitors took part.

It was part of the Government's tourism initiative "The Gathering".

"Great things happen when we come together" was the theme of this year's event, which ended just past St Patrick's Cathedral.

Elsewhere, Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee was the Grand Marshall of the Cork city parade, which attracted over 60,000 people.

Over 4,000 participants took part in the parade in Limerick, as the city attempted a new world record.

Over 285 St Patricks of all ages and sizes from right across the city gathered to create a new record for the Guinness Book of Records.

An estimated 40,000 people came out to watch the parade.

The parade in Belfast was smaller than in recent years, but still attracted a good crowd.

Businesses welcomed the large crowds after recent months of falling trade due to the ongoing Union flag protests.

The Union flag was flying over Belfast City Hall today.

Galway hosted its 110th St Patrick's Day parade with participants of all ages showcasing the city's history and traditions.

In Kerry, thousands turned out to watch parades in Killarney and Tralee.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has met some of the victims of Hurricane Sandy near New York.

Mr Kenny went to the Breezy Point district to see the progress of the recovery effort following the devastating storm late last year.

He also visited the Freedom Tower in New York, which is replacing the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed on 11 September 2001.

Around the world, almost 70 landmarks have also "gone green" to celebrate the day.