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York’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations power on as Ireland’s annual parade is cancelled due to coronavirus fears

St. Patrick’s Day parades across the island of Ireland have been affected by coronavirus.

Belfast City Council have voted to cancel the city’s parade as Irish PM, Leo Varadkar announced that no parades in the Republic of Ireland would go ahead.  Varadkar said, “The Republic of Ireland will stay in a containment phase for as long as possible.

Currently there are 24 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Republic of Ireland and the Irish Health Minister, Simon Harris has said the situation is very serious.

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is celebrated globally, every year on the 17th of March. Although the public are disappointed at the closure of the parades in Ireland, it is understood that this is necessary in order to help contain the virus.

In York,  St.Patrick’s Day is still a go ahead, but is is advised that the public follow the current advice of the York Health Department.

Irish music, dancing and drinking are at the heart of St. Patrick’s Day and it is the best day of the year to have an excuse to get drunk!

This year, York is turning green with St Patrick’s Day events. The main event is the annual York, Irish Association St Patrick’s Day Festival on Sampsons Square. The event takes place on Saturday the 14th and 15th of March and the activities are all about celebrating Irish tradition and bringing Irish culture to York. There will be live music, Irish dancing, ceilidhs, Irish food and drink, face painting, Gaelic football demonstration and much more.

This year the York Irish Association have teamed up with York City Council as part of the  Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening Initiative where famous monuments are lit up in green across the world to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  Clifford’s Tower will and parts of York’s historic walls near Lendal bridge will be lit up green to highlight the impact that the Irish community have had in York

Irish bar O’Neills on Low Ousegate are also celebrating St Patrick’s Day in style from Friday 13th to Tuesday 17th March.  In the lead up to St Patrick’s Day, O’Neils are encouraging all to wear fancy dress and to enjoy their live music, and unbeatable offers of food and drinks.

By Libby Ince