Dublin and Cork city St Patrick's Day parades CANCELLED
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Dublin and Cork city St Patrick's Day parades CANCELLED

DUBLIN and Cork have both announced today they are cancelling their St. Patrick's Day parades amid coronavirus fears.

Cork's parade, which usually sees around 50,000 visitors flock to the city centre, was the first major St Patrick's Day parade in Ireland to be scrapped.

Dublin quickly followed suit, announcing the cancellation of their parade, which attracts a whopping 750,000 to the city every year, shortly after.

Cork City Council said that due to the size of the crowd expected, and the length of the event, they could not provide the "necessary assurances" in line with the guidelines.

A number of parades in the county had already been cancelled including Youghal, Whitegate, Midleton, Blarney and Cobh.

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Sligo's St. Patrick's Day parade has also been cancelled.

Meanwhile, across the country, over 100 parades to mark St. Patrick's Day across Ireland are under threat due to coronavirus concerns.

Organisers are now facing significant pressure to cancel any planned festivities in order to prioritise public health.

A number of organisers are due to meet over the next three days to decide on what to do next, amid the ongoing viral threat, with parades big and small now under review.

Sporting fixtures and mass gatherings around Europe have been postponed or cancelled in a bid to control the outbreak, and with St. Patrick's Day looming, the nation waits to see if the 17th of March will be the next victim of the coronavirus cancellations.

Previously, the government had said it would allow major cities to hold their St. Patrick's Day parades as scheduled, a decision which was widely criticised by both health officials and campaigners.

However, due to the rising number of confirmed cases in Ireland and the UK over the past few days, holding the parades has apparently ceased being an option.

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