Ireland's new Bank Holiday set to fall on St Brigid's Day
The new Bank Holiday will serve as the first part of a "pandemic bonus" for frontline workers and the public.
Following much speculation regarding an additional Bank Holiday and just where on the calendar such an occasion might fall, we appear to have our answer.
St Brigid's Day – traditionally held on 1 February to mark the beginning of spring – will now usher in Ireland's 10th public holiday.
According to the Sunday Times, the Bank Holiday will take place on the Monday closest to the first of February on each year, officially commencing in 2022.
Government sources told the publication that a "consensus has emerged" with employers and trade unions to name the holiday after the Kildare patron saint.
The move will represent the government's first iteration of a long-discussed "pandemic bonus" in a bid to honour and thank frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic, as well as the general public at large.
Per the report, no agreement on whatever monetary reward may be issued has been reached, nor it is clear specifically what additional leave days should be granted.
Earlier this month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar indicated that the new Bank Holiday would likely fall in either February or March.
“I am still listening to what people have to say and it hasn’t been decided yet that we will have one,” he told Newstalk's Hard Shoulder programme.
“My preference is either February or March. One option is the St Brigid’s Day period - there is a big gap between 1 January and St Patrick’s Day in terms of holidays.
“The other possibility is a kind of a four-day one over the St Patrick’s day weekend and that would be, if you like, the second anniversary of the pandemic in many ways.”