ANYONE FOUND participating in a St Patrick’s Day party this year will face either a fine or criminal prosecution, the Irish Government has warned.
With less than a week to go until March 17th, there are increasing concerns that many are set to flout Covid-19 restrictions to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint.
It comes amid reports of indoor and outdoor parties being planned.
In one instance, plans for a St Patrick’s Day rave appeared on social media, only for the offending pages to be taken down following complains by the authorities.
Now Senior Government official Liz Canavan has urged the public to find alternative ways to mark the date, warning that parties “put lives at risk."
She said: “It won’t be possible to gather with friends and there will be no parades, but that doesn’t mean that there will be no spectacle to enjoy.
“Organising parties, gatherings and flouting the guidance would be a blatant disregard for all we have endured to this point.
“It puts lives at risk, the rollout of our vaccination programme at risk, and ultimately it puts our progress on the path to recovery at risk.
“We are hearing reports of house parties, street parties and other parties being arranged.
“We want to remind you that no organised activities are permitted under the current level of restrictions.
“Anyone found to be in breach may face a fine or a prosecution,” she said.
Under Level 5 restrictions social gatherings of any kind are banned, save for those involving social bubbles or essential reasons like childcare.
Though she acknowledged St Patrick’s Day would be marked “in a very different way than we hoped we would” Canavan urged the public to celebrate virtually, pointing to the “huge work” being done by the RTÉ and Oireachtas TV to organise over 100 events across six days.