IRISH workers could be set to enjoy an extra day's rest each year after EU officials backed a proposal to make 'Europe Day' a new public holiday.
The proposed Bank Holiday, which would fall on May 9 each year, is aimed at "boosting European sentiment" across EU member states and is already recognised as an unofficial day of celebration on the continent.
If implemented, the Europe Day public holiday would see the Irish public get a second day off work in the space of a few days after the 'May Day' holiday, which falls on Monday, May 6 this year.
The idea was discussed in Brussels on Monday and according to Croatian MP Ivan Jakovčić, there is "clear support" behind such a move.
"Having 9 May as a public holiday is not for the sake of holidays but so that we can show our unity and fight for our values," he said.
"It seems there is clear support from several parliamentary groups such as the Greens, the Socialists and ALDE."
Spanish MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa said she was confident the proposal would "most probably be passed" when put to an official vote.
'Europe Day' would take Ireland's public holiday count from 12 to 13 annually – one more than Britain, which is likely to miss out on the potential Bank Holiday altogether post-Brexit.
Here are all the other Irish public holidays and Bank Holidays for 2019:
- Sunday March 17 2019 - St Patrick's Day
- Monday March 18 2019 - Bank Holiday but not a public holiday
- Friday April 19 2019 - Good Friday - Bank Holiday but not a public holiday
- Monday April 23 2019 - Easter Monday
- Monday May 6 - May Bank Holiday
- Monday June 3 - June Bank Holiday
- Monday August 5 - August Bank Holiday
- Monday October 28 - October Bank Holiday
- Wednesday December 25 - Christmas Day
- Thursday December 26 - St Stephen's Day
- Friday December 27 - Banks closed but not a public holiday
- Wednesday January 1 2020 - New Year's Day