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Bank On It Ireland's new bank holidays agreed for March 2022 and February 2023

There are currently nine public holidays in Ireland each year

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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly are expected to detail the plan for the new public holidays later today. (Picture by Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly are expected to detail the plan for the new public holidays later today. (Picture by Niall Carson/PA)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly are expected to detail the plan for the new public holidays later today. (Picture by Niall Carson/PA)

The Cabinet has signed off on plans for two new Irish bank holidays.

A once-off public holiday will take place on March 18th this year acting as a national commemorative event in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, there will be a permanent annual public holiday at the beginning of February to mark St Brigid’s Day and the pagan festival Imbolc. This will commence from 2023 onwards and is understood to fall on the closest Monday to February 1st annually.

The Green Party have been calling for St Brigid’s Day to be a public holiday since 2016 and party leader Eamon Ryan pushed for the date.

There are currently nine public holidays in Ireland each year: New Year's Day (1st January); Saint Patrick's Day (17th March); Easter Monday; the first Monday in May; the first Monday in June; the first Monday in August; the last Monday in October; Christmas Day (25th December); and St Stephen's Day (26th December).

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly are expected to detail the plan for the new public holidays in due course.

Meanwhile, ministers also agreed that frontline healthcare workers are to receive a €1,000 tax free bonus payment.

The payment will be made to nurses, doctors, paramedics, nursing home staff, and frontline staff who worked in a Covid-19 exposed clinical environment during the course of the pandemic.

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