Hundreds of punters have been pictured letting their hair down and packing out Dublin's nightclubs for the first time in 600 days as Covid restrictions were finally eased.
Dublin's dancers were out in force for the first time since the start of the pandemic as long queues could be seen stretching for hundreds of yards at venues across Harcourt Street in Ireland's capital city.
Earlier this week, the Irish Government announced nightclubs could finally reopen for the first time since March 2020, much to the delight of young people and excitable nightclub owners who rushed to get venues ready for the big day.
Despite some initial confusion over the new regulations venues were facing, Taoiseach Micheal Martin had earlier this week promised 'what traditionally happens in a nightclub will continue to happen in the nightclub'.
Pictures quickly spread across social media on Friday showing hundreds of hopeful punters gathering in large crowds outside city hotspot Coppers, while others waited patiently to get into the packed Tramline nightclub.
Other images showed a handful of out of practice revellers keeled over and sprawled across the streets of Dublin as their excitement appeared to get the better of them.
A woman sits with her head between her knees and a man is held up by a friend as he keels over outside Copper Face Jack's nightclub, Dublin as Ireland's Covid restrictions eased for the first time in 600 days
Three excited clubbers pose for pictures outside Tramline Nightclub, Dublin on Friday evening
Queues began to form at some venues in Dublin early in the evening, as punters lined the streets in preparation for the biggest night out in nearly two years
Regular clubber Alvin Pascal, from Beaumont, Dublin, explained the past two years had been a 'different experience'.
He said: 'It's been two years so it's a bit of a different experience. I was a bit anxious coming out. But it's fun now, being in there.'
He added that he had missed socialising with people. 'It's a bit different than when you're sitting at home or sitting in pubs,' Mr Pascal said.
Asked if he planned to go out next weekend, he said: '100%. It's been two years, I'm obviously going to go out.'
Dublin's dancers were out in force for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Pictured: Tramline Nightclub, Dublin
An Garda officers keep a watchful eye over proceedings outside Copper Face Jack's nightclub, Dublin on Friday
People pictured outside Copper Face Jack's nightclub in Dublin, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Ireland
Queues began to form at some venues in Dublin early in the evening, as excited clubbers lined the streets in preparation for the biggest night out in nearly two years.
There was a small police presence on Friday evening as An Garda officers kept a watchful eye on proceedings.
Under new government guidelines, masks must be worn when not dancing, drinking or eating inside. All nightclub events will also be ticketed from next week.
Lakshay Seth, who lives in Dublin, said he was 'really excited' to visit a nightclub. He said he went out nearly every second weekend before the pandemic.
He said he missed dancing during the long closure of venues. 'Just dancing. I'm a big Abba fan, so just dancing,' he said.
Pictures quickly spread across social media on Friday showing hundreds of hopeful punters gathering in large crowds outside city hotspot Coppers, while others waited patiently to get into the packed Tramline night club
A trio of punters share a laugh in the queue for Copper Face jack's nightclub, Dublin on Friday evening
Despite some initial confusion over the new regulations venues were facing, Taoiseach Micheal Martin had earlier this week promised 'what traditionally happens in a nightclub will continue to happen in the nightclub'
He said he was not nervous and planned to follow the rules.
'I travel on public transport, so if I get Covid I might get it there or I might get it here. But if there's any guidelines we have to follow, we're up for it.'
Many venue owners have insisted that despite the quick turnaround time, they are excited and ready to open.
Culture Minister Catherine Martin told reporters on Thursday night that the hospitality industry needs to 'show leadership' and ensure that they follow the new rules.
Rising case numbers and growing pressures on the health service has prompted warnings from health officials this week about a long winter ahead.
Clubbers outside Tramline Nightclub in Dublin, after the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant that nightclubs in Ireland could open for the first time in close to 600 days
Sam Moriarty (left) and Greta Luko smile for a picture outside Tramline Nightclub in Dublin on Friday evening
Ian Redmond, who runs the Tramline nightclub, shared his excitement at Ireland's grand re-opening on Friday night.
'I'm so excited,' he said. 'To finally get open is just amazing,' he said as he stood outside the venue.
'We have done everything we can. We've got the ambulance service checking temperatures. Covid ID requests, passport ID. We've done everything.'
He did express some concern that the new guidelines on tickets would make it hard to stage smaller events and attract customers.
'Tourists coming to Ireland won't be able to walk up to our door and come in,' he said.
But overall, he said it was destined to be a good night.
'It is such great news that we're back and just so excited to be open.'