St Patricks Parade Mountmellick. Photo Denis Byrne.
The biggest planned St Patrick's Day event in Laois has been cancelled over the coronavirus COVID-19.
Mountmellick's Central Festival group was planning to hold its first two day festival, called Boglands 2020.
Up to today Monday March 9 they were still going ahead but have made a decision following advice from the HSE.
"Important announcement. We have just finished our 3rd emergency meeting regarding covid 19. We have decided to postpone Boglands 2020 until further notice and this years saint Patricks day parade in Mountmellick is cancelled as of now," they said.
While the parade will not be rescheduled, they hope that the Boglands Festival will take place in summer.
"Due to the continued community spread we cannot put our most vulnerable citizens at risk as we are a family centered event for all we hope to postpone the festival until a further date possibly summer," they said.
The group which has helped Mountmellick people during flood events, is offering to do what it can during the coronavirus threat, including disinfecting public areas.
"As a community group our first priority is our people and our work as a community care team will now be at the forefront to help assist all our services and provide as much assistance as possible as seen during the recent flooding. Our community will always be put first. We will assist in anyway possible and have activated our community response team to put in place measures.
"We are available on 085 2135119 at all times if we can assist in any way please contact us. We are also in the process establishing a clean team to help combat the continued spread with the aim of disinfecting public areas eg local bus stops etc.
"We know that this may cause disappointment to all our performers groups etc but we will be back again bigger and better then ever before for now we advise that we all work together to help and guide each other through this. Stay safe, wash your hands.
"Thanks so much to all our team for all their hard work so far. Thanks to all our frontline health and emergency services.
Stay safe!" they say.