World record Riverdance as more than 2,000 dance through Dublin streets

Performers arrive from all over the world for display of 'the joy of Irish dance'

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A world record has been set in Ireland for the largest ever performance of the Riverdance.

More than 2,000 people gathered along the banks of the River Liffey in central Dublin on Sunday, with representatives from 163 dance schools and 44 countries dancing in one long snaking line.

The Guinness World Records rules state that the dancers needed to be in single file and perform continuously for five minutes.

With participators coming from as far away as Mexico, Uzbekistan and Japan, invigilators struggled to keep up with the sheer number of dancers flocking towards the river.

The performance came as part of The Gathering, a campaign designed to bring tourists to Ireland from all over the world who have some kind of cultural or ancestral link to the country.

And it was led by none other than New Yorker Jean Butler, who alongside Michael Flatley led the first ever show of Riverdance during the interval of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to celebrate The Gathering through Irish dance with thousands of people over the course of this weekend,” Ms Butler said.

“Riverdance has played a big role in my life but it has also played a big part in bringing the joy of Irish dance and music to many people throughout the world.”

A spokesperson from the organisers of the event said that, with 2,800 people originally named as participants, the number actually dancing in the streets comfortably topped the 2,000 mark.

But with time running out to complete the record attempt, invigilators were only able to confirm a final tally of 1,693 people. The spokesperson said: “We had to be off the bridge by 12.30pm, so that's as many as we got through the turnstiles and verified by Guinness World Records.”

This still smashed the previous record of 652 people dancing in a continuous line, achieved in Nashville, Tennessee in the US.