Derry's St Patrick's Day parade has been cancelled.
The local council today decided that the popular parade will not go ahead next Tuesday because of coronavirus concerns.
The move, which has been widely expected, is a big blow for the local economy.
However, the decision has been welcomed in response to the current situation with coronavirus.
Following a meeting of party leaders and Council officers at the Guildhall, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said that the decision was taken as a precautionary measure.
“We have been reviewing the situation daily and following the advice of the health agencies in relation to Covid19, felt that we should be proactive in our response regarding public events.
“The safety of Council staff and the general public are as always paramount and although official advice on the cancellation of public events has yet to be issued, felt that this would be a sensible response to what is a growing concern.
“Council will continue to adhere to the health advice being issued in relation to all its activities and events, and take proactive measures to assist in the containment of Coronavirus and the protection of the general health and wellbeing of all local citizens.
“I would also urge people to be mindful of protecting themselves and others by heeding the guidance with regards to hygiene and wash hands regularly following the advice of the Public Health Agency.”
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