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Coronavirus: Cork and Sligo cancel St Patrick's Day parades

A number of other parades across the country have been postponed or cancelled.

St Patrick's Day in Dublin last year.
St Patrick's Day in Dublin last year.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 9th 2020, 2:17 PM

NOTE: Following the publication of this piece it emerged the government planned to cancel all St Patrick’s Day parades – you can find that article here.

CORK, SLIGO and various other smaller towns have taken the step of cancelling their St Patrick’s Day parades.

In a statement, Cork City Council said: 

“Following a meeting this morning between Lord Mayor Cllr John Sheehan and Chief Executive, Ann Doherty, a decision was made to cancel this year’s parade.”

Earlier Finbarr Filan, the chairperson of Sligo’s St Patrick’s Day committee, said in a statement:

The health and well-being of our community is our first priority and having reviewed the guidelines from the HSE and the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19, the committee feel it is appropriate to cancel this years event.

Cancelled and postponed

The Wicklow town St Patrick’s parade has also been cancelled, the committee announced in a statement earlier.

The committee said it “did not make this decision lightly”. 

Other parades that have been cancelled or postponed include:

  • Mallow, Co Cork
  • Churchtown, Co Cork
  • Kealkill, Co Cork 
  • Greystones, Co Wicklow
  • Newbridge, Co Kildare
  • Maynooth, Co Kildare 
  • Castlegregory, Co Kerry 
  • Mountmellick, Co Laois (called the Boglands Festival) 

The parade in Durrow, Co Laois has also been cancelled this year, but out of respect for the passing of the committee’s treasurer, a community group said on Facebook. 

Carlow TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has called on organisers of the Carlow parade to postpone due to coronavirus fears, Carlow Live reports. 

Clare TD Cathal Crowe said he believes it is “imperative” that large public events and gatherings such as St Patrick’s Day parades should be “cancelled in the interest of public health”. 

Political reaction 

Sinn Féín leader Mary Lou McDonald said that the leaders of all the parties will meet twice a week to discuss how best to halt the spread of the virus. 

She wrote on social media: “Meeting of party leaders just concluded. We will meet twice weekly to consider coronavirus containment plans. The responsible call on St Patrick’s day has been made. We must act together to protect our families and communities.” 

The Green Party’s Eamon Ryan added: “A meeting of Dail party leaders took place today to review the measures being taken in response to the coronavirus crisis. We will continue to meet regularly to access what can be done to minimise the threat to our people. We are united in supporting our public health officials.”

Six Nations

Meanwhile it was confirmed today that Ireland’s Six Nations clash with France would also be postponed due to concerns over the virus. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke programme, Mary Lou McDonald said “steady and determined leadership” was needed. 

“I’m very glad to hear the indication from the Six Nations that the matches are going to be postponed until the autumntime. I think that is a very wise and responsible thing to do,” the Dublin Central TD said. 

Not to create panic but on the contrary, to give assurances to people that there is steady and determined leadership and that we are prepared to take the necessary actions to keep people safe. 

With reporting from Céimin Burke and Orla Dwyer

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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