Organisers launch St Patrick's Festival with video of touching poem 'My Ireland'

More than 3,000 artists, musicians, dancers and poets will take part in this year's St Patrick's Festival.

The theme of this years four-day event is 'Ireland You Are'.

More than 100,000 overseas visitors are also expected to attend more than 30 events from March 16 to 19.

The festival parade from 12pm on March 17 is seen as the highlight.

Rebecca Johnson, aged 3 (left) with Denis Johnson, aged 7, James Keane, aged 4, Conor Keane, aged 3 and Anabelle Johnson, aged 5 (right), pictured with Artastic Pageant characters, Rachel Lalley and Piyanuch Chanphet at the official launch of this year's St. Patrick’s Festival 2017. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Festival CEO, Susan Kirby, said: "There's everything from spoken word talks, debates, visual arts, walks - it's a real opportunity to explore our Irish identity and culture in a contemporary and traditional setting."

The festival has also commissioned Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith to write a new poem based on the theme.

The celebratory narrative is accompanied by a short film by director Myles O'Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O'Brien.

By Peter Towe

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