New bank holiday in Ireland might just be a "once off"
Don't go getting our hopes up...
The plans for an extra bank holiday in Ireland to thank frontline workers for their part in the Covid-19 pandemic could be just a once-off rather than a permanent inclusion in the calendar.
The government is believed to be looking at making the closest Monday to St. Brigid's Day the new bank holiday, meaning it would fall on 31 January next year.
There has been some opposition to the creation of a new bank holiday, mostly from employer groups who don't want to see it as a permanent fixture.
While a set date for the new bank holiday hasn't been confirmed by Government yet, there is concern that Ireland will still be dealing with high levels of Covid-19 cases by February.
According to the Irish Independent, the Brigid's Day Bank Holiday could be a one-off amidst potential for the idea of making the celebration of St. Patrick's day into a four-day weekend.
Speaking at an event commemorating Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone in Kildare at the weekend, Taoiseach Micheál Martin did not deny that the bank holiday would fall around St. Brigid's Day.
"The last time I was in Kildare with Fiona [O'Loughlin], I was taken to various centres that were, how will I put it, very affirming of St Brigid’s role in this county," Martin said.
"But it remains to be seen how government will decide ultimately on that matter along with a range of other matters in that context."
The idea of an extra Bank Holiday came about in an effort to find a way to thank frontline workers for the role they played in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many businesses have shown concern over the cost of a permanent bank holiday as many are still either struggling or recovering from the effects of the pandemic.