St Patrick's Day parades in Dublin and Cork cancelled

 

The St Patrick's Day parades in Dublin and Cork have been cancelled because of the foot-and-mouth scare. Dozens of other meetings, events and activities scheduled for the next fortnight have also been postponed or cancelled.

The chief executive of Dublin Tourism, Mr Frank Magee, said they still hoped to have a national festival this year but the plans for March 17th are off.

Field sports including angling, equestrian, hill walking and shooting are being actively discouraged by Bord Failte. The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Ms de Valera, said all visitor facilities at national parks, nature reserves, national monuments and historic properties owned or operated by Duchas in rural areas (and in urban areas where there are live animals) have been closed to the public until further notices. Notices will be displayed at Duchas facilities asking the public to refrain from visiting any of its sites at the moment.

In Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol, the Casino in Marino, the National Botanic Gardens, St Stephen's Green and the Phoenix Park will remain open for the present.

The SIPTU National Women's Forum, which was due to start today in Killarney, has been deferred indefinitely.

The Irish Countrywomen's Association has cancelled all national meetings. All military training has been cancelled outside barracks and posts, as have all public tours of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Aras an Uachtarain and Dublin Castle.

Killarney National Park has been closed for the first time, amid concerns that thousands of red deer there could catch foot-and-mouth disease.

Coillte has closed its forests to the public as a precautionary measure. There are about seven million visits to Coillte forests each year.

RTE has advised audience guests living on farms or in the exclusion areas not to travel to The Late Late Show in Dublin tonight. Audience participation in other programmes may be restricted but programmes are expected to go ahead.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions advised the deferral of any meetings or conferences that would bring people together from different parts of the country.

Kildare County Council has asked people not to visit its offices and public facilities, and has suspended its mobile and school library services.

The ESB has stopped reading meters in rural areas and will send out estimated readings. The ESB has also stopped issuing permits for fishing on ESB waters.

Scouting Ireland SAI has suspended most outdoor activities for all its scouting sections and is asking group and section leaders to suspend group and section meetings in rural areas. National training courses will go ahead in urban areas with disinfectant procedures in place.

The Dublin SPCA shelter in Stocking Lane has closed to the public and no cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, deer, wild boar, hedgehogs, rats, mice or squirrels will be admitted or released from the shelter. All schools talks by DSPCA cancelled.