Press release

Green Party delivers first new permanent public holiday in 30 years

1st February 2023
Imbolc website image

The Green Party has delivered the first new public holiday in three decades. This Monday will be a holiday to celebrate Lá Fhéile Bríde (Brigid’s Day), which falls this year on Wednesday 1st (today).

The Green Party has long called for the day to be made a public holiday, with a recent push beginning in February 2021. By January 2022, cabinet agreement for the new holiday was secured.

The upcoming holiday for Lá Fhéile Bríde is the first Irish public holiday dedicated to a woman. Until this year, Ireland was the last country in the EU to have under ten public holidays.

Lá Fhéile Bríde also falls during the longest period of the year without a public holiday, between January 1st and March 17th.

Catherine Martin TD, Deputy Leader of the Green Party and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, said;

“Lá Fhéile Bríde is a day to celebrate Irish women. By celebrating the life of Brigid, we highlight the strength and passion of all the women of Ireland.

"For too long, Ireland has been an outlier for having no public holidays dedicated to women. This year we're fixing that, while recognising Brigid's rightful place at the heart of Ireland’s culture. This new public holiday is a victory for the women of Ireland.

"As Minister for Tourism, I am also glad to implement the key recommendation from the Tourism Recovery Taskforce for an additional bank holiday in the off-peak season."

Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, said;

"Brigid's day and Ireland's new public holiday also coincides with the traditional festival of Imbolc, which heralds the start of spring. With calving and lambing underway, the lengthening of the days, and evidence of new growth, Imbolc is also about the seeds of new ideas. Brigid is well recognised as a patron of all thing’s nature and agriculture, and I hope this day will provide inspiration to all the women working hard in agriculture and science across the country.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Caroline Conroy, said;

"Lá Fhéile Bríde marks the coming of spring. I hope the new public holiday will give people a much-needed day to reflect and celebrate nature and our shared biodiversity.

"Living in the city, it can be easy to forget the importance that the natural world plays. I'd encourage Dubliners to take advantage of the day off and visit nature in the city. For the three-day weekend, anyone with a Leap card can bring someone for free on public transport anywhere in the country. It's a great opportunity to hop on the bus, train or Luas and make the most of the new holiday."

Share on