UPDATE: Decision made on Laois St Patrick's festival #coronavirus

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Mountmellick St Patrick's Day parade to go ahead.

Mountmellick St Patrick's Day parade to go ahead.

Organisers of a Laois St Patrick's Day festival have decided to forge ahead for now, after the Government's advice on large gatherings over the threat of coronavirus COVID-19.

Mountmellick's first Boglands Festival will be the biggest St Patrick's event in Laois becuase there are no parades in either Portlaoise or Portarlington this year. Those events were cancelled or not happening due to a shortage of volunteers, before the coronavirus threat.

The Central Festival Group made their announcement on Friday evening March 6.

"We have awaited the decision from goverment and given great thought and discussion on the best way too proceed we are in direct contact with the hse and are recieving updates frequently our team pride ourself on public health safety and security this has been our main priority since day one so we are always prepared and ready for every eventuallity . The questions we put forward today was quite simple but very important".

They say there is "no cause for alarm".

"We are delighted to announce that at the moment there is no cause for alarm in our general area and the decision has been taken to continue with the Dublin st patricks festival which would have a much larger attendance than ourselves so therefore we are full steam ahead for Boglands 2020.

"However we would like you to note that this is a rapidly changing situation and could change at any moment but as of now unless there is significant change in our area we are full steam ahead with 10 days to go.

"We have decided to take some precautions at the event also including providing hand sanitizer and providing training to our staff handling stalls etc.

"This is just a precautionary measure we hope too see you all there for whats set to be 2 days of great celebration," the committee said. 

The two day festival is on Monday and Tuesday March 16 and 17. Some acts already booked include Lawless Irish Dance Academy and Salsa Sensation Ireland while the parade Grand Marshall is to be Mountmellick Drama Group.