St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin sees 500,000 attendees

St. Patrick's Day parade: The procession is the largest of 120 across Ireland, a nation reeling from a three-year recession and a debt crisis that has led to an international bailout.

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    Children watch the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland on March 17, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of people will mark the national day at more than 180 events in towns and villages across the country.


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About half a million people have packed central Dublin for a St. Patrick's Day parade that points out Ireland's current gloomy mood — and seeks to sweep it away for a day.

The procession is the largest of 120 across Ireland, a nation reeling from a three-year recession and a debt crisis that has led to an international bailout.

Thursday's parade for the first time is built around a children's short story by author Roddy Doyle especially written for the event.

Recommended: St. Patrick's Day: 5 great books that celebrate Ireland

His story "Brilliant" tells the tale of how children banish the Black Dog of Depression from Dublin and reclaim the city's lost funny bone.

Doyle calls it an allegory for Ireland's current challenges and says he wrote it under the shadow of Ireland's November bailout.

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