The Irish Ambassador to the US has expressed his disappointment following the cancellation of this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Washington DC.

Ambassador Dan Mulhall said it was unfortunate but added there are other opportunities to organise celebrations in different formats that would maintain the spirit of St Patrick's Day.

The organisers of the parade cancelled this year's event because of the rising cost of security.

The organising committee said it is planning to hold a parade in 2020, which will also mark the 50th anniversary of the event being staged in Washington DC.

The parade is run by a non-profit, volunteer-led organisation which says it will continue to raise funds throughout 2019 for next year's event.

Organisers say the greatest cost they have to deal with is the government-related expense of security and street closures.

According to the statement issued by the parade committee, the local government in Washington DC has increased security requirements for public events since the 2016 terrorist attack in Nice, France.

The committee says these increased security costs have not been matched by an increase in funding and have left it in a precarious financial position.

Yesterday, it said it was "distraught" to announce this year's event would not be going ahead.