Republic of Ireland news

Dublin Airport bulging with passengers, revellers arriving, Irish leaving, car parks full

Rachael Blackmore aboard Honeysuckle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.
John Breslin

DUBLIN Airport is experiencing one of its busiest ever St Patrick’s Day period as revellers fly in from the rest of the world – and hundreds of thousands leave.

The long weekend and Cheltenham racing festival has helped boost numbers flying out, with reports that airport-managed car parks were entirely booked up.

According to the Dublin Airport Authority, many Irish people are taking advantage of the three-day weekend to make a trip overseas, either a short city break or a longer sun holiday.

Many are also joining the throngs of Irish at Cheltenham, which on Friday will host the Gold Cup. Interest in the race is huge as star jockey Rachael Blackmore follows up her epic win on Honeysuckle as she partners again with Henry De Bromhead to ride A Plus Tard.

The DAA said there will be a steady flow of arrivals with 212,000 estimated set to fly in. Many are coming to Dublin to enjoy the St Patrick's Day festival but also for the Ireland-England rugby clash on Saturday.

An airport spokesperson said: "The car parks at Dublin Airport are very busy this weekend with over 430,000 passengers passing through the airport. All week we’ve seen many thousands of passengers flying over from Dublin to Cheltenham, while many more are availing of the long weekend to take in a city break or skiing holiday overseas.

“There are also a lot of people heading off on winter sun holidays. The number of people flying this weekend would be on a par with our busiest ever St Patrick’s Day periods."

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