Coronavirus / Covid-19: Events are being cancelled or postponed
It has now been confirmed that the St Patrick's Day parade will not go ahead in Kilkenny next week due to Coronavirus contagion fears.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Kilkenny County Council said the decision was made "in the interest of public health".
The John Street Carnival that was to follow the parade will also not go ahead, and the Evans Home Open Day scheduled for Saturday, March 14, has also been cancelled.
The move follows the cancellation of parades in Dublin, Cork and Sligo, as well as other public events called off or postponed.
As speculation mounted in recent days, a number of local politicians, including TD Malcolm Noonan and Cllr David Fitzgerald, publically expressed a belief the festivities should not proceed as planned. Others, such as Cathaoirleach Peter 'Chap' Cleere and St Patrick's Festival chair Cllr Joe Malone, said the direction of the Government/health experts would be followed.
Meanwhile, the Ireland East Hospital Group has confirmed that visiting restrictions are now in place at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny. Children in particular should not visit unless in exceptional circumstances.