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Taoiseach says St Patrick's Day parades won't take place this year

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

Dublin's St Patrick's Day Parade in 2019.
Dublin's St Patrick's Day Parade in 2019.
Image: PA

WITH ST PATRICK’S Day now just two months away, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that that he does not see any parades to mark the holiday going ahead this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cancellation of parades around the country last March signalled the severity of the public health crisis that Ireland was heading into.

The streets look set to be quiet for two years running as the Taoiseach told Virgin Media News that there won’t be enough people vaccinated to allow festivities to go ahead this year.

“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,” the Taoiseach said.

Martin was also quizzed about the reopening of schools and he said that children with special needs are the government’s first priority for returning to classrooms, followed by leaving cert students.

The Taoiseach said the situation will be reassessed at the end of January but added that no guarantees can be given because of the high level of coronavirus circulating in the community.

Martin added that the preference across all government departments at present is for the leaving cert to be held in a traditional manner this summer.

“As of now we’re looking at a traditional leaving cert. I would say, all round, that we just need to hold our nerve and have a degree of patience on this,” he said. 

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The Taoiseach also said that US President-elect Joe Biden will come to Ireland on a state visit after tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

“He told me when I invited him after the conversation, after his election, he said: ‘try and keep me out’,” Martin said.

“Obviously with Covid being very dominant all over the world and in the United States, where it’s very, very prevalent at the moment, that’s his first task, he told me, when he would become president, to deal with the Covid-19 issue and to deal with the vaccinations there,” he added.

About the author:

Ceimin Burke

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