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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 14 August, 2020
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'It makes you feel proud': More than 1,500 frontline workers to march in National Services Day parade

National Services Day, which honours emergency workers, will take place on 7 Sept.

Georgia Quarrell (6) from Melbourne, Australia with Shannon the Irish Wolf Hound and handler David Dickson.
Georgia Quarrell (6) from Melbourne, Australia with Shannon the Irish Wolf Hound and handler David Dickson.
Image: Sam Boal

IRISH EMERGENCY AND security workers are getting ready to celebrate their second National Services Day with a parade and concert in Dublin.

Last year Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that the first Saturday in September every year will celebrate Irish frontline workers so they can get the public recognition “they so rightly deserve.”

Previously, members of frontline services had been arranging their own parade, but groups came to the government in 2018 to ask for the day to be officially recognised.

An estimated 1,500 emergency service workers will take part in this year’s parade, which kicks off at 12 noon on Saturday 7 September. 

The parade will leave Parnell Square in Dublin city centre and make its way down O’Connell Street and over O’Connell Bridge.

It will then go onto Westmoreland Street before going up Dame Street and into Dublin Castle.

Legendary GAA commentator Michaéal Ó Muircheartaigh will be Grand Marshall.

A special concert this Saturday 31 August at the National Concert Hall will feature choirs and bands from various services. Jack Lukeman is among the special guest performers. 

Speaking at a media briefing today in Dublin Castle, Health Minister Simon Harris said the day was to “show our gratitude to our emergency and security services… the people that go to work every day to keep us safe, to keep us secure, and help us when we’re in need”.

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emergency 316_90578420 Minister Simon Harris said the day was a chance for the public to show their gratitude to emergency services. Source: Sam Boal

Ciarán Byrne, who has been a paramedic in the National Ambulance Service for 20 years, said the day demonstrates how all the different emergency organisations can come together in a crisis.

With the heavy storms and heavy snow the joint voluntary services joined in together with the front line services and really helped out and enabled us to get to places we wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.

He said for all the services to come together on a single day and for them to be recognised, “it’s very worthwhile and makes you feel proud”.

Each of the services will display their specialist equipment and formation drills for the general public on the day of the parade at Dublin Castle.

It was estimated that 20,000 people attended the event in Dublin Castle last year. Check out the website to find out more.

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