AUDIO: St Patrick’s day events get underway across the world

Motorists are advised of traffic restrictions as a result of the festivities

Parades to mark this year's St. Patrick’s Festival get underway across the country today.

Up to half a million people are expected to turn out on the streets of the capital for Dublin's St Patrick's Day Parade.

These people are among the thousands of visitors from abroad who've come to watch today's Dublin parade:This year's event is all about the past - and is part of a three year theme: "Let's Make History".

3-thousand dancers, artists and bandmembers marched along the parade route through the city centre.

They were led by the grand marshall - former Tour De France winner Stephen Roche.

Click here to see live video of what is happening in Temple Bar.

The Galway City parade started at 11.30am.

Festivities in Waterford and Kilkenny commenced at 1pm while the Limerick parade kicked off at 2 o'clock.

Motorists are being advised of traffic restrictions in towns as a result of the festivities.

Meanwhile, over 100 iconic buildings across the globe will go 'green' this St. Patrick's day as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.

Tourism Ireland

The Sydney Opera House was the first to going green, when the initiative started in 2010.

The London Eye, New York's Empire State Building, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen and the Sky Tower in Auckland will be among some of the landmark buildings taking part in the festivities.

The Chicago River goes green

And, for the first time, the Great Wall of China will become the ‘Green Wall of China’ to celebrate this St. Patrick's Day.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach will take part in the New York St Patrick's Day Parade this afternoon.

That's despite controversy over a ban on gay rights groups openly marching in the parade.

Enda Kenny will also meet the New York Mayor Bill deBlasio, who's boycotting the march over the ban.

The Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, also refused to take part in his city's parade for the same reason.

These Irish-Americans in Boston say they appreciate their Mayor's position on the parade: