Wednesday 22 November 2017

How St Patrick's Day could be honoured as a British bank holiday

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech in central London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech in central London. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Gavin Cordon

St Patrick's Day would become a bank holiday in Britain under new proposals announced by Jeremy Corbyn.

Under the plan, there would be public holidays on St David's Day (March 1), St Patrick's Day (March 17), St George's Day (April 23) and St Andrew's Day (November 30).

The UK Labour leader said the move would bring together England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while giving workers a well-deserved break.

"The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government," Mr Corbyn said.

"But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations.

"A Labour government will make St George's Day - England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday - a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.

"And we will ask for the support of the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so that the same four holidays can be enjoyed across the United Kingdom."

Corbyn added: "These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends.

"But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."

At the moment workers in Northern Ireland get a day off for St Patrick's Day, as do Scottish people for St Andrew's Day.

Welsh people don't get a public holiday for St David's Day and neither do English people for St George's Day, unless it falls on a Sunday.

In most parts of the UK the four national holidays are treated as regular working days.

The UK has the least amount of Bank Holidays in Europe, eight, while we enjoy nine each year.

Corbyn made the proposal ahead of the snap election on June 8.

Prime Minister Theresa May called the shock election last week to happen in the fallout of Brexit.

Irish Independent

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