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Families hold 'at home' St Patrick's Day parades after coronavirus fears cancel events

Organised parades across Ireland and the UK were cancelled amid coronavirus fears. Credit: PA

Large scale St Patrick's Day parades may have been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but that did not stop many Irish families creating their own fun.

At home parades were staged in back gardens and living rooms across Ireland, with children inviting their toys and teddies along to join the celebrations.

In Co Donegal, Donal O Faogain's family were among many who put on their - own albeit mini- event.

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Young Roisin, Donal Og and their mum Lousie refused to let either the Covid-19 social distancing - or the rain - dampen their St Paddy's Day spirits.

The children were the guests of honour at their parade, with the pair pulled along in a mini trailer with their teddy bears.

Father Donal O Faogain said: "We just thought that being stuck in the house was no excuse not to celebrate St Patrick's Day, we decided to have a traditional rainy parade in Donegal."

Pat Bracken from Co Tipperary and his daughter Ellen held a miniature parade in their back garden, featuring Tigger as the Grand Marshal.

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Mr Bracken said he was joining efforts to "keep the spirit of St Patrick's Day alive.

"My daughter Ellen and I got some of the old toy cars and toys out to try and put some humour around the whole Covid-19 situation.

"So we put out the best that we had and some teddies, but also the loo rolls, hand sanitiser and Trocaire box to reflect the sort of things that may go on in an actual parade."

Julie Anne de Brun and her children in Galway sang an Irish song to keep spirits up as the country takes measures to limit the spread of the virus.

"I sang with two of my children Muireann, 12, and Daithi, six," she said.

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"It is sad to be confined but it is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"We want to be safe, and also want our older people to be safe too."

She added: "Grandparents and families are separated today on what is usually a national holiday with family and friends meeting and celebrating by way of parades, ceilidh dancing and music performances.

"We just want to give everyone some hope and comfort by singing a lovely Irish song which is dear to us all."

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Peter Hynes tweeted footage from his version of celebrations - a St Patrick's Day farm parade.

The rural affair featured quad bikes, a wheelbarrow and even a calf.

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Lochlainn McKenna’s family in Cork also took part in some Irish dancing in a bid to boost morale.

"We just wanted to make the most of the parades being cancelled and the pubs being closed," he said.

"We thought why not have our own little parade and try and enjoy ourselves."

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While in in Dublin Peter Loscher's family were also getting into the spirit of it in their living room.

Mr Loscher said: "We’re all in this together and together Ireland will prevail."