Five of the best dates for a new bank holiday in Ireland, as decided by us 3 weeks ago

Five of the best dates for a new bank holiday in Ireland, as decided by us

When should the new bank holiday take place?

Friday morning brought news that the Government is reportedly considering the introduction of an additional bank holiday as part of the forthcoming Budget.

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On Wednesday, both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar signalled the government's intention to honour those who "went the extra mile" during the pandemic, though the exact method of doing so has yet to become clear.

One such mooted idea is a brand new bank holiday, though it is currently unclear just how this will especially benefit frontline workers, many of whom would be traditionally expected to work on such a day.

The idea of an extra bank holiday has been in the conversation for a while now, with the government’s tourism recovery taskforce calling for the move last October and the launching of a People Before Profit bill in July looking to introduce three new bank holidays.

Speaking at that time, PBP's Paul Murphy noted that Ireland currently has nine bank holidays on the calendar in comparison to the likes of Austria, Portugal, Sweden and Poland, who all offer 13.

Presently, Ireland's nine public holidays take place on the following dates:

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  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • Saint Patrick's Day (17 March)
  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in May
  • First Monday in June
  • First Monday in August
  • Last Monday in October
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Saint Stephen's Day (26 December)

The potential of a new bank holiday begs an obvious question – where should it fall on the calendar?

We've come up with a few possible ideas.

St. Packie's Day

Packie Bonner

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Yes, there is already a bank holiday at the start of June.

However, why not add another? Especially when you take into consideration that it was on 25 June in 1990 that Packie Bonner made the greatest save in Irish history – Gavin Bazunu could well outdo him some day, though – against Romania in the second round of the World Cup.

It has been 19 long years since Ireland last made it to a World Cup and it's probably still going to be a while yet so the least you can go is give us this sacred bank holiday, thank you.

That day we accidentally legalised illegal drug use

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DRUGS

Hey kids, remember that time a load of different drugs were accidentally made legal in Ireland for about 24 to 48 hours until some brave emergency legislation stepped in to save the day?

Good times, and great memories for some. That day was Tuesday, 10 March, 2015.

And so we propose that 10 March take its rightful place forevermore as a holiday.

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Any other day in January apart from New Year's Day

January

January is a grim month, arguably the grimmest there is.

Let's make it that little bit more tolerable, shall we?

Seriously, pick any day. It makes no odds to us.

The first day back to school

School

As it stands, there's quite a large gap between the first Monday of August and the last Monday of October in terms of public holidays.

That seems an obvious gap. Clearly, we need one in September.

As such, we suggest whatever day the vast majority of children are starting the school year. Seems a fair trade that they should have to go to work that day instead of you.

Katie Taylor's birthday

Katie Taylor

We were going to pick Michael D. Higgins for this but his birthday already falls either on or very close to the Easter Monday bank holiday.

Katie Taylor it is, then, who celebrates on 2 July. And we need a holiday in that month, so case closed.

So there we have it. Any one of the above would be great, cheers lads.