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Image / Editorial

‘A city-wide petri dish’: Irish public calls for Paddy’s Day celebrations to be cancelled


by Grace McGettigan
09th Mar 2020
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As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ireland continues to rise, the Irish public is calling for St Patrick’s Day celebrations to be cancelled 


Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the Minister for Health Simon Harris says no decision has yet been made regarding the cancellation of St Patrick’s Day festivals, but he says one will be made soon. It comes after thousands of people across the country called for the celebrations to be called off.

Sharing a photo from St Patrick’s Day in 2018 – in which you can see an incredibly crowded Temple Bar – Twitter user Emmet Kirwan said, “This is Paddy’s Day two years ago. Temple Bar looks like the first scene in an Irish 28 Days Later coronavirus virus film.

“Paddy’s Day will be a city-wide walking petri dish. Public health? Nah, let’s listen to the market! Pubs, hotels, green hats; ya know, the important stuff.”

Paddy's Day cancelledPhoto: Earth Cams

Irish DJ Ray Shah added, “How the f*ck do they think holding the Paddy’s Day parade is still a good idea?

“They were happy enough to cancel it in 2001 to try to stop the spread of Foot & Mouth disease, so why not try to stop the spread of Covid-19? Doesn’t make sense.”

Many others have followed that line of thought, insisting common sense should prevail and that the gathering of thousands of people in confined spaces isn’t wise. Others are questioning why the Six Nations’ rugby match could be cancelled yet not the St Patrick’s Day parades. The answer (for most people) is that Paddy’s Day is worth too much money to the economy and the government is reluctant to miss out.

When questioned on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about whether or not the celebrations will be cancelled, health minister Simon Harris said the government will follow the recommendations of public health experts, and that a decision will be made shortly. He also said there is “a moderate to high chance” that Ireland will follow the path of other countries in relation to Covid-19.

For more information about Covid-19, visit hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus


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