Lá Fhéile Bríde - A new public holiday to celebrate Irish women
New public holiday to celebrate Irish women,
Lá Fhéile Bríde,
welcomed by Green Party Minister Pippa Hackett
Today (19th January) the Cabinet decided to make Lá Fhéile Bríde (Brigid’s Day) a public holiday from 2023.
The Green Party has long called for St. Brigid’s day to be made a Public Holiday and I’m delighted that this was approved by Cabinet.
In Ireland, we do not have any public holiday dedicated to a woman and we are among the countries with the fewest public holidays in Europe.
St. Brigid, formerly the pre-Christian Earth Mother Goddess Brighid, is widely thought to be Ireland’s first feminist and it is significant that we now have a day to celebrate the Women of Ireland.
Making Lá Fhéile Bríde a public holiday gives us the opportunity to celebrate the Women of Ireland - Mná na hÉireann - our compassion, our collaborative action and our fight for equality
Traditionally associated with the Celtic festival “Imbolc”, St. Brigid is originally said to have been a pagan goddess and is associated with the coming of spring.
Lá Fhéile Bríde will mark the end of Winter and the return of light. This is a time to plant new seeds and to reflect on and celebrate the nature which we have in abundance here. This is a renewed reminder to us all of the need to look after our nature and biodiversity.
The holiday will fall annually from 2023 on the closest Monday to February 1st - unless February 1st falls on a Friday in which case the Friday will be a public holiday.
Additionally, Cabinet also approved a one-off public holiday to be added this year on March 18th, 2022, in recognition of the contribution that workers made during the pandemic.