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May day May day

Ireland in line for extra summer Bank Holiday as MEPs look to mark Europe Day

A campaign has begun in Europe to create a public holiday across the continent on 9 May.

IRELAND COULD SOON have an extra summer Bank Holiday following calls from a number of MEPs to mark Europe Day with a public holiday across the continent.

An initiative to celebrate the annual observance day, which takes place on 9 May, has been promoted by the Spanish association Europeanists and already has the backing of a number of Members of European Parliament.

The day marks the anniversary when the European Coal and Steel Community, a precursor to the European Union, was first proposed by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in 1950.

While Europe Day already exists, the date has never been recognised as a public holiday, but MEPs are hoping to change that, believing that the move would boost European sentiment across member states.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock is among those to support the move, and called on the Government and the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a member, to back it.

“As proud members of the EU, I believe it is right for Ireland to recognise this day as a public holiday,” he said.

“I believe Europe Day could be used to encourage the Irish public to learn and understand the institutions of the EU, which they ultimately shape.”

It’s not yet known how soon the holiday would be celebrated if the European Parliament approves the move, or if the public holiday would be a once-off or fall on an annual basis.

However, it could mean that Irish workers would have two days off in quick succession if the holiday was implemented, as it would fall just after the annual May Bank Holiday.

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