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Clonaslee and Mountrath St Patrick’s Day parades the latest to be cancelled amid Coronavirus outbreak

The Clonaslee St Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled in line with parades all over the country amid fears of a further spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.

A hard-working committee had been in place in Clonaslee over the last couple of months as they put plans in place for a first parade in the village in well over 40 years.

In an attempt to avoid a clash with other parades and draw as large a crowd as possible, they had fixed their event for this Sunday, March 15.

Jamie Lee Collins who had lived with the Keely-Cusack family in the popular RTE show Raised by the Village had been announced as the Grand Marshall .

But the committee decided at meeting on Tuesday evening to cancel the event.

“We’re all disappointed but for the best interest of all at this time we cancelled it,” said Pat Carroll who is the committee’s assistant chairperson.

And the Mountrath parade has also been cancelled, meaning there will be no St Patrick’s Day parades in Laois this year.

“Unfortunately folks we have some sad news to bring you. Our parade this year has to be cancelled,” they said in a Facebook post.

“With the current Covid 19 crisis we just cannot take the risk of putting people in that danger, we’d like to thank all the people who helped us out and to all the groups and businesses who had kindly donated their time.

“We’ll be back next year bigger and better than before – keep an eye out for a summer fest that we have in the pipeline”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced earlier this week the cancellation of the state’s St Patrick’s Day festivities but that ban only covers events that were to be hosted by the government.

Almost all parades around the country are run by volunteers so it is up to each committee to decide whether to proceed or not.

Parades in Abbeyleix, Durrow, Mountmellick, Killeshin, Graiguecullen, Timahoe, Stradbally, Vicarstown, Rosenallis, Spink and Durrow have all been cancelled while the Portlaoise parade was pulled a couple of weeks back due to a lack of support.

A Tractor Run in aid of Rosenallis GAA and scheduled for this Sunday has also been cancelled.

The hugely popular Streets of Portlaoise 5K run, which has been on before the St Patrick’s Day parade for the last number of years is going ahead at the moment.

“As of today 10th March Streets of Portlaoise is going ahead as planned unless otherwise instructed by AAI or any other government body that deems it unsafe to take place,” they said in a statement on Tuesday morning. Organised by the Portlaoise Athletic Club, their weekly Couch to 5K programme finishes tonight.

SEE ALSO – Travelling during Coronavirus outbreak: Laois parents and three kids on their incredible Asian journey

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.