Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day festival under threat from Coronavirus

Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day festival under threat from Coronavirus

DUBLIN’S ANNUAL St Patrick’s Day festival has been thrown into doubt by fears of a possible outbreak of Coronavirus in Ireland.

Organisers told Extra that they will continue to “follow advice” over the festivities, which begin on March 13 and run through to March 17.

A statement from the festival said: “St. Patrick’s Festival is monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and will continue to do so.

“We follow the advice and direction of relevant authorities in all matters of public safety.”

At the time of writing there have been no confirmed cases of Covid-19 on the island of Ireland.

However, there is increasing concern that an instance of the virus on the Emerald Isle is no longer a case of “if” but “when”.

The worries come after several schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland were forced to take precautions after returning from recent trips to Italy.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 17: Festival participants take part in the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade on March 17, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated around the world on St. Patrick's Day. According to legend Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans in the 5th-century after becoming a Christian missionary. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

There have so far been more than 300 reported cases of Coronavirus in Italy and 11 deaths.

Students from St. Paul’s Community College in Waterford and Mount Anville Secondary School in Goatstown, Dublin are all being monitored.

Pupils at school in Bray and those three Norther Ireland schools are also facing similar restrictions as the authorities look to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Ireland’s Six Nations rugby clash with Italy on March 7 is also under threat, with Minister for Health Simon Harris calling for the game to be called off.

Harris said: “The very clear view of the public health emergency team was that this game should not go ahead, that it would constitute a very significant risk.

“A very large number of people would’ve travelled from what is now an infected region.”

The potential spread of Coronavirus could yet lead to muted St Patrick's Day celebrations across the globe.

The Irish Post has reached out to organisers of London's St Patrick's Day festival for comment.