The Government has decided to cancel all St Patrick's Day parades on the advice of health officials, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. 

It comes as the Government endevours to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Ireland.

So far, 24 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland with 12 positive cases so far in Northern Ireland.

The board and management of the St Patrick's Festival have welcomed the decision to cancel the parades.

In a statement, the festival organisers said four events will not proceed.

These include the national St Patrick's Festival parade in Dublin on 17 March; the Festival Village in Merrion Square in Dublin from 14-17 March; a treasure hunt in Dublin on 15 March and the Céilí Mór in Merrion Square on 17 March.

Parades around the country are also not going ahead.

However, the festival organisers said more than 100 small to medium scale events including music, theatre, talks and exhibitions will still go ahead from 13-17 March.

Further details about the cancellations and details about what is going ahead is available on  www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

The St Patrick's Day parade in Belfast will not go ahead.

Hours after Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann said there were no plans to cancel the event, Belfast City Council has voted to postpone it.


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