Parade falls victim to virus

There will be no St. Patrick’s Day next week following a decision to postpone the event in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Committee members met up on Monday to discuss the issue and after careful consideration it was decided not to go ahead with the parade although they were at pains to insist that it is postponed rather than cancelled.
The parade was due to take place on Monday evening with a series of family-friendly events due to take place the next day as well. The decision came hot on the heels of recommendations by public health officials to cancel all parades throughout the country. According to a statement released by the Dundalk St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee the organisers are already looking at rescheduling the event for later on in the year when the threat of Covid-19 has passed.
“Following careful consideration this morning the Dundalk St. Patrick’s Day Committee have decided to postpone the events scheduled to take place in the town centre on March 16 and 17. We appreciate that this decision will disappoint many people but in the interest of public health and to ensure that the spread of Covid-19 is minimised we believe that this is the sensible approach to take at present.
“We are announcing this decision this morning in order to give the maximum amount of notice to all those who are involved, including all those who have signed up for the parade and the other events.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported us in the last few months; our main sponsors PayPal and others in the local business community, Louth County Council, Dundalk Tidy Towns and Dundalk Gardaí, in order to bring something new and special to Dundalk for St Patrick’s Day, but this is now not possible at present.
“It is important to note that these events are not cancelled, they are postponed. We are already looking at scheduling for later in the year when it is deemed safe and that the spread of Covid-19 has ceased. We will continue to work with all our sponsors, suppliers and participants in arranging an alternative date,” concluded the statement.
At the time of going to press 21 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland and the continued risk of the virus spreading across the country has the hse as well as various sporting organisations to issue guidelines to people to help contain the virus.
These include urging people to wash their hands regularly while sporting organisations such as the FAI have issued a directive to all affiliates instructing them that players are not to shake hands with their opponents or match officials before or after a match.

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