St Patrick's Day DOUBLE bank holiday in the pipeline

St Patrick's Day DOUBLE bank holiday in the pipeline

Additional reporting by Olivia Kelleher

A double bank holiday around St Patrick's Day is being considered by the Government.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has told RTÉ the 17th and 18th of March could BOTH be Bank Holidays for a four day weekend in 2022.

He said after that the extra Bank Holiday may move to St Brigid's Day from 2023.


Elsewhere today, A member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has said it is time to consider mask wearing among primary school children.

Professor Mary Horgan, president of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, said the increase in infections among primary school children is higher than the rest of the population.

The issue is expected to be discussed by Nphet when it meets on Thursday, though the Government does not intend to introduce any new restrictions this week, according to The Irish Times.

If a recommendation is made by Nphet, it is likely to be considered by Government next week.


Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Prof Horgan said there were several reasons for the case rise in school children. "Firstly they are a group that haven't been vaccinated. We know how effective vaccines are," she said.

"Secondly they don't still use masks. The rest of the population do. So it may be a time to consider that. Because we do want to reduce the infection as much as we possibly can."

The latest figures show that primary school-aged children now have the highest Covid incidence of any age group, with some 10,000 positive cases in the past fortnight.

A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also notes that the infection rate for primary school-aged children has been rising since mid-October, but the risk of transmission within a school still remains “low”.


The European Medicines Agency has this afternoon approved a Covid-19 vaccine for children, giving the green light to Pfizer to allow reduced doses in 5 to 11 year olds.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee will now consider the decision for Ireland.