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St Patrick's Festival Dublin parade officially cancelled for second year as organisers move online

Micheál Martin said previously that there won’t be enough people vaccinated to allow the festivities to go ahead.

Liam Mooney dressed as St Patrick on O Connell Street, Dublin last year.
Liam Mooney dressed as St Patrick on O Connell Street, Dublin last year.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews

THE STREETS OF Dublin will be quiet this St Patrick’s Day for the second year running as organisers officially confirmed there will be no parade in the city on 17 March.  

The festival committee said it is ‘reimagining’ celebrations this year by hosting virtual events on SPF TV - a new online TV channel. 

“The RTÉ /SPF Virtual Parade will provide a fun and safe ‘at home’ parade alternative for all the nation to enjoy on March 17th,” organisers said in a statement.  

“A rich and dynamic programme of festival events, created by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, makers, creators, arts and live events workers and community organisations across Ireland, will run on the St Patrick’s Festival TV online channel over six days and nights”. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin indicated last week that no parades would be happening around the country this March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said on Friday that there won’t be enough people vaccinated to allow festivities to go ahead: “The one thing we’ve learned about this virus, it changes, it evolves into different phases, different variations are coming on stream. Clearly, vaccination is the key to this.”

This year’s St Patrick’s Festival will run from 12 to 17 March, with all events running on SPF TV. 

Festival marketing director Aileen Galvin told Today with Claire Byrne that the parade is just one part of the festival, with hundreds of performers, artists, and live event workers already working to put virtual events and performances together for the schedule. 

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Galvin said the event community has been absolutely decimated this year and “what’s fantastic for us is that we are now in a position that we can push out our funding to all of those different people so that they can keep working and keep creating”. 

“St Patrick’s Festival has always been about contemporary culture and traditions and showcasing that to the world. So we have a real opportunity now to reach bigger audiences and hopefully bring joy and happiness to people.”

She added that organisers are currently in discussions with broadcasters at home and abroad about running some of SPF TV’s original content.  

Further details of this year’s festival will be announced over the coming weeks.

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Adam Daly

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