Mayor to launch St Patrick's Day celebrations in London

 St Patrick's Day this year promises to be an especially memorable event in London as the capital hosts its first Irish festival in Trafalgar Square. The brainchild of Mayor Ken Livingstone, the programme includes traditional and contemporary music, dancing, story telling, children's activities, bars, food and marquees. It will begin with a special Irish Mass celebrated at Westminster Cathedral by Bishop George Stack at 11am - followed by the London Irish parade down to Trafalgar Square Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Henceforth, as well as being an occasion which every Londoner can enjoy, the celebration of St. Patrick's Day will mark the enormous contribution which Irish people have made, and continue to make, to the economic, social and cultural life of this city." * In Birmingham, after an Irish Mass at St Annes's church in Alcester Street at 9.30, there will be Dancing at the Crossroads followed by a parade from Camp Hill at 12 noon led by New York firefighters.