The Irish government recently announced the introduction of:

  • A one-off public holiday on Friday, 18 March 2022, to honor COVID-19 workers and victims
  • A permanent public holiday beginning in 2023 in celebration of Imbolc/St. Brigid’s Day

Key details

2022 one-off public holiday

The 2022 one-off public holiday has been introduced by the Irish government for the recognition of the efforts of the general public, volunteers and all workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in remembrance of people who lost their lives due to the pandemic. It will be celebrated on Friday, 18 March, the day after St. Patrick’s Day (17 March 2022), creating a four-day holiday weekend. 

In addition, the Irish government announced that front-line healthcare and ambulance workers, as well as eligible private sector nursing home workers, will receive a special, one-off tax-free payment of EUR 1,000 in recognition of their work in dangerous and challenging conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-off payment is intended to thank those workers for the multiple lives saved as a result of their efforts.

St. Brigid’s Day permanent public holiday

Starting in 2023, the Irish government announced that a new permanent annual public holiday will be introduced in celebration of Imbolc/St. Brigid’s Day. This day marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the equinox, the beginning of spring, and the Celtic New Year.

The new permanent public holiday will fall on the first Monday of every February, except where the 1st day of February falls on a Friday, in which case St. Brigid’s Day will be celebrated on that day. 

This extra public holiday will bring the total yearly number of public holidays in Ireland to 10. The introduction of a 10th public holiday is intended to strengthen workers’ rights and bring Ireland more in line with the European average. 

Next steps

Employers must update their leave policies accordingly to ensure compliance with the new rule.