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The Newry St Patrick's Day Parade has been cancelled in light of the current Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak.

It follows yesterdays cancellation of the Dublin parade as well as all parades south of the border.

A section of the crowd at last years St Patrick's Day Parade in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
A section of the crowd at last years St Patrick's Day Parade in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The decision was made this morning at a group leaders meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and includes the Downpatrick parade as well as the Newry one, both which are organised by council.""

In a statement the council said “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has taken the decision this morning to cancel the St Patrick’s Day Parades due to be held in Downpatrick and Newry on 17 March.  This decision has been made in consultation with party leaders and is in line with the recent cancellations of St Patrick’s Day parades elsewhere.  The Council appreciates the negative impact this decision may have on local businesses at this time, however this decision has been taken as a precaution given our Members’ and the public's concern around the coronavirus response.”

The Quays Shopping Centre have also cancelled their St Patrick's Day events but the centre will remain open. In a statement on Facebook a spokesperson said "As a precautionary measure The Quays Shopping Centre has decided to postpone all St. Patrick’s Day events. We feel it advisable not to have customers assembling in close knit groups for extended periods of time. 

"The centre remains open for business and as things stand there is no indication from the authorities of any increased risk to customers. We will however continue to monitor and follow advice from government and healthcare professionals. Thank you for your understanding."

Warrenpoint also organise a community parade on the day but a decision hasn't been made on it yet.

UPDATE 5pm

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council can advise that in addition to the cancellation of its St Patrick’s Day parades, activities organised by the Council at Hill Street, Newry and St Patrick Square, Downpatrick on March 17 are also cancelled.

This is due to Coronavirus response concerns.

All other Council organised St Patrick’s activities at our museums, arts centres and Newry Town Hall will proceed as planned.

The Council advises the public to keep up to date with their social media channels for the latest information on planned events.”

The Council Chairperson also made a statement

Cllr Charlie Casey said,“Our Council took the decision to cancel our St. Patrick Day parades in Newry and Downpatrick.

"As Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down Council I believe that there is an obligation on our Council to protect the health & well-being of citizens.

"I believe that this decision, however unfortunate, is in public interest.

"It is essential that we all work together to enable all individuals, families, communities and businesses to get through what will be a trying and testing time.

"I intend to ensure that our Council will do its utmost to ensure that all those workers and Businesses caught up in this ongoing crisis are protected as best as practically possible.

"In the meantime I would ask that people remain calm, vigilant and unified. Please continue to shop local and support our Businesses in this time of challenge."

 

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