Ireland will celebrate St Patrick's Day on social media

Ireland will celebrate St Patrick’s Day on social media after all public events were cancelled due to coronavirus, with people sharing pictures of their revelry online

  • Thousands left without parades have been urged to celebrate on Facebook 
  • St Patrick’s Day, which celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, takes place tomorrow
  • The Irish government has urged citizens not to organise or go to private parties 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Ireland will celebrate St Patrick’s Day on social media after all public events are cancelled, 7,000 pubs are shut and the government calls on people not to organise or participate in private house parties due to coronavirus.

Thousands left without parades for the biggest day in the Irish calendar have been urged to share photos of themselves celebrating and of floats they would have used in the now-postponed events on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Irish government closed all schools, colleges, restaurants, pubs and other public places last week. The country has reported 169 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

St Patrick’s Day, which celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, takes place tomorrow.

Thousands left without parades (last year’s parade in Dublin pictured above) have been urged to share their celebrations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

On twitter an account has been set up urging people to share photos of themselves celebrating St Patrick’s Day tomorrow

A Facebook group has also been set up for people to share what they’re up to and share images of floats they would have used in the parade

Revellers pictured celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Dublin last year

One Facebook Group, called St Patrick’s Day Celebrations 2020, asks internet users to post ‘images, videos and even short announcements on this group’. 

Twitter user Mike McLoughlin also asked others to share images of their floats.

‘Guys I was thinking,’ he wrote, ‘there must be kids (and adults) up and down the country who were all set for St Patrick’s day parades and have put lots of work into their floats and costumes.

‘How about a virtual parade on here? One hashtag, share the pics and vids here on the 17th?’

An account called Virtual Paddy’s Day 2020 has also been set up, which says: ‘Let’s celebrate Paddy’s Day virtually 2020 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’.

Ireland’s global greening event, where landmarks across the world are lit up for St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, is also expected to go ahead.

As many as 300 monuments in 40 countries, including the Sydney Opera house and Moulin Rouge, will all be illuminated in green for the event.

A group of men dressed in green for St Patrick’s Day in Ireland on March 17 last year

The parade for Ireland’s patron saint taking place in Dublin last year. These scenes will not be repeated tomorrow

The Republic’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has advised citizens not to organise or participate in public gatherings for St Patrick’s day.

‘In regards to upcoming St Patrick’s Day celebrations,’ he said, ‘the government is calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put other people’s lives at risk’.

The St Patrick’s Day festival page for Dublin lists all events as cancelled.

‘We are acting in the best interests of public health and safety and in an effort to play our part in the nationwide efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus,’ a statement on their page reads.

‘While extremely disappointing, our paramount commitment is to the wellbeing of our artists and participants, our audiences and communities and our own Festival team.’

Those which had booked events and paid for tickets have been told they will receive a full refund. 

People play bag pipes and wave flags as they take part in Birmingham’s parade last year

Celebrations also took place in New York last year. Their event has been cancelled

Northern Ireland has also moved to cancel parades and has shut schools and colleges for at least 16 weeks.

Across the globe, parades for St Patrick’s Day have also been cancelled in cities including London, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Boston.

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar stressed on Saturday that the government’s social distancing guidelines applied to pubs and restaurants as pictures on social media showed hundreds crammed into these venues despite health warnings from authorities.

Last night he ordered the closure of all pubs and restaurants until at least March 29 in a move which industry bosses said was the ‘biggest loss of jobs in the history of the State’.

The move was considered essential ahead of the traditionally busy St Patrick’s day, reports the Irish Times.

Parades for the big day were last cancelled in 2001 during an outbreak of the foot and mouth disease.

St Patrick’s day celebrates Ireland’s patron saint, who was a slave in Ireland before he escaped to England and later returned to convert the country to christianity.

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