The Christmas lights in Dublin city centre have been switched on to mark the start of the festive season in the capital.

Co Clare teenager Liam Roche flicked the switch remotely from his ward in Children's Hospital Ireland, Temple Street turning on the one million low-energy LED light bulbs that illuminate the city centre streets.

Around 300,000 of those bulbs are on Grafton Street and its rows of chandeliers were the first to be lit just before 7pm this evening.

In previous years, tens of thousands of people flocked to Dublin city for the turning on of the Christmas lights, but such an event has not been possible for the past two years due to Covid-19.

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Dublin Town, which is responsible for lighting up the city, appealed to people to begin their Christmas shopping earlier this year.

It wants people to come into the city centre to support the businesses during what has been a difficult year for the retail sector.

It said: "Post Covid we all want to see a vibrant capital city and make that a reality we need to make sure we support city businesses at this vital time.

"Shopping and socialising in the city centre of Dublin under the iconic Christmas lights is a key Christmas experience for many and we invite everyone to come to town and make new Christmas memories."