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tree-mendous Fianna Fáil senator calls for new bank holiday to coincide with Late Late Toy Show

The government have promised a new bank holiday to thank frontline workers for their efforts during the Covid pandemic

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Ryan Tubridy hosts The Late Late Toy Show.

Ryan Tubridy hosts The Late Late Toy Show.

Ryan Tubridy hosts The Late Late Toy Show.

A senator has called for a new bank holiday to coincide with the Late Late Toy Show.

Fiona O'Loughlin, who is a Fianna Fáil senator said that the last Friday in November is something looked forward to by many every year.

"Every year, all of us look forward to the last Friday in November. The Late Late Toy Show is an institution for children of all ages and has played a big part in Christmas for many years now. For so many it is the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.” she said.

"I feel it deserves to be recognised as a festive stand out in the lead up to Christmas to recognise its significance in this regard, and to help children up and down the country prepare for the big night."

"I think it would be a tree-mendous idea to give them a dedicated bank holiday on that day," she joked.

The government has previously proposed a new or one-off bank holiday to thank frontline workers, such as shop assistants and nurses, for their efforts during the Covid pandemic.

However, the plans have recently been set aside due to the rise of Covid infections in recent weeks.

There was increasing speculation that a bank holiday would be set for January 2022 to coincide with St Brigid’s day which falls on Tuesday February 1st 2022. Senator O’Loughlin was one of many people who proposed that the bank holiday be used to celebrate the Saint.

“She was a keen environmentalist who nurtured the land and physicians. She was an incredible role model. She was really the first feminist we had,” she told the Seanad, branding her “the Greta Thunberg for our generation.”

“The messages of peace and justice that she brought forward 1,500 years ago are every bit as relevant today. As a proud Lilywhite, I know that Kildare people will join me in making that rallying cry for February 1 to be the new bank holiday,” she added.

Feminist group Herstory also backed the calls to make St Brigid’s day a new public holiday, with an online petition that boasts almost 16,000 signatures.

The Women's Parliamentary Caucus, the Green Party and public figures like Joe Duffy, Marian Keyes and Imelda May have all shared their support for the holiday.

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However, according to a report in the Sunday Times, talks on the issue at the Labour Employer Economic Forum have been set aside following the recent uptick in Covid cases.

A senior Government source told the Sunday Times that talks on the issue have been put on hold as they deal with the current Covid wave, further saying that employers will need adequate notice of any new bank holiday.

"We are running out of time between now and February for St Brigid's Day to be the chosen date, and we cannot be sure how long this wave is going to impact on society generally to make that call.”

An extra bank holiday is just one perk that has been promoted as part of a “pandemic bonus” to thank the public for their efforts.

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