After much criticism from the public, authorities have finally announced St Patrick's Day celebrations across the country will be cancelled
Cork has just become Ireland's first city to cancel its upcoming St Patrick's Day parade, closely followed by Dublin and with other towns set to follow.
The news comes after a Cabinet Sub-Committee meeting, in which the risk of Covid-19 was discussed. Earlier today, Minister for Health Simon Harris said there is a "moderate-to-high risk" that Ireland will see the same increase in coronavirus cases as other EU countries.
While cancelling the St Patrick's Day celebrations won't stop the spread of the virus, it is hoped to slow it down considerably.
In a statement released by Cork County Council, it was said, "A risk assessment, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, was carried out by Cork City Council which concluded that based on the demographic of those attending the parade, the close proximity of people attending the event and the duration of the event (among other considerations), Cork City Council is not in a position to provide the necessary assurances in relation to current WHO Guidelines.
"Both the Lord Mayor and Chief Executive Ann Doherty agreed that the welfare of attendees and participants is the primary concern and so, the Lord Mayor and CE have made a decision to cancel this year’s parade."
More local authorities are expected to release statements on their parades soon.
Authorities had previously been criticised for not cancelling the Paddy's Day events sooner, with one Twitter user saying, "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."
Another person shared a photo of a crowded Temple Bar saying, "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."
The news that the parades are cancelled will come as a great relief to many.
For more information about Covid-19, visit hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus.
Read more: 'Stop telling me I've nothing to worry about': why I'm scared of the coronavirus
Read more: 'My bones are aching': coronavirus patient opens up about his symptoms
Read more: How to talk to your children about Coronavirus