London celebrates St Patrick's Day

 More than 30,000 people turned out for early St Patrick's celebrations in Central London yesterday. An Irish Mass was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral before the London Irish Parade set out in glorious sunshine for the South Bank, where there was a festival of traditional and modern Irish music. On Friday, London's Mayor Ken Livingstone, set the scene for celebrations by signing a friendship agreement for future mutual co-operation with Dublin's Mayor Dermot Lacey and the Mayor of Belfast Alex Maskey. Mr Maskey said yesterday: "I think it's very important that we are celebrating Saint Patrick's Day in a very inclusive way. Tomorrow is also a historical day in Belfast. It's the first day we in the city council have officially recognised and celebrated Saint Patrick's Day." Today, at St Patrick's Church in Soho Square, Central London, shamrocks will be blessed and distributed at the the 8am, 12.45 and 7pm Masses. Archbishop George Pell of Sydney will be the celebrant at the evening Mass.

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