Sam Boal/
wearing the green

Government 'hearing reports' of St. Patrick's Day house parties and street parties being arranged

The Department of an Taoiseach warned that organising such parties is an offence.

THE GOVERNMENT IS reminding people that organising house parties or street parties for St. Patrick’s Day could lead to fines or prosecutions.  

Speaking from the Government Buildings this morning, Liz Canavan, Assistant General Secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach said that the government is “hearing reports” of parties being organised. 

“This day next week we will mark St. Patrick’s Day, albeit in a very different way than we hoped we would. It won’t be possible to gather with friends and there’ll be no parades but that doesn’t mean there will be no spectacle to enjoy,” she said.

Organising parties, gatherings and flouting the guidance would be a blatant disregard for all we have endured to this point. It puts lives at risk, it puts the role of the vaccination program at risk and ultimately it puts out progress on the path to recovery at risk.

“We are hearing reports of house parties, street parties and other parties being arranged. We want to remind you that no organised activity is permitted under the current level of restrictions. Anyone found to be in breach may face a fine or prosecution,” she added. 

Canavan said that “huge work” is ongoing to ensure St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated virtually with a festival involving “over 100 events” taking place over six days to be broadcast by RTÉ and Oireachtas TV

Speaking about the vaccine rollout, Canavan said that the “emerging data is really promising”, echoing comments from HSE CEO Paul Reid who said today that serial testing in nursing homes has yielded a positivity rate of just 0.2%

Canavan said that this may allow for public health experts to explore “what options may be possible”.

“The more progress we make in the coming weeks, the more options that will be available to government and deciding on further easing of the restrictions,” Canavan added. 

She cautioned however that there are “many countries in Europe” that are experiencing rising cases and that Ireland does not want to follow that trend. 

“The fact that we are making such steady progress is a testament to the efforts you are making. However, we must make sure that we don’t experience a fourth surge of the virus before the benefits of the vaccine can be experienced,” she said. 

Canavan also added that people should continue to exercise within 5km of their homes as the weather improves over the spring months and cautioned about increases in household visits. 

She added that there has also been a modest increase in people’s close contacts, with much of that happening outdoors. 

“The largest increase is at outdoor locations which was up 1.1% to 6.2%. It is worth remembering that while outdoors is safer than indoors, it is not risk free. Try to stick to the two metre rule and wear a mask if you can’t do that or it’s crowded.”

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