Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland
These are the public holidays observed in Ireland. Public holidays in Ireland (as in other countries) may commemorate a special day or other event, such as Saint Patrick's Day or Christmas Day. On public holidays (sometimes incorrectly referred to as bank holidays – a colloquialism), most businesses and schools close. Other services, for example, public transport, still operate but often with reduced schedules.
The nine public holidays in Ireland each year are as follows:
|Date||English name||Irish name||Notes|
|1 January||New Year's Day||
Lá Caille or
Lá Bliana Nua
|Most also take time off work for New Year's Eve (Oíche Chinn Bliana).|
|17 March||Saint Patrick's Day||Lá Fhéile Pádraig||National Day. First became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903.|
|Moveable Monday||Easter Monday||Luan Cásca||The day after Easter Sunday (Domhnach Cásca) – also coincides with the commemoration of the Easter Rising. Good Friday (Aoine an Chéasta) is not a public holiday, but is a bank holiday with all banks, state schools and some businesses closing.|
|Moveable Monday||May Day||Lá Bealtaine||The first Monday in May. First observed in 1994.|
|Moveable Monday||June Holiday||Lá Saoire i mí an Mheithimh||The first Monday in June. Previously observed as Whit Monday until 1973.|
|Moveable Monday||August Holiday||Lá Saoire i mí Lúnasa||The first Monday in August.|
|Moveable Monday||October Holiday||Lá Saoire i mí Dheireadh Fómhair||The last Monday in October. (Lá Saoire Oíche Shamhna). First observed in 1977.|
|25 December||Christmas Day||Lá Nollag||Most start Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve (Oíche Nollag), including taking time off work.|
|26 December||St. Stephen's Day||Lá Fhéile Stiofáin or Lá an Dreoilín||The day after Christmas celebrating the feast day of Saint Stephen. Lá an Dreoilín translates as the Day of the Wren.|
Note that where a public holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, or possibly coincides with another public holiday, it is generally observed (as a day off work) on the next available weekday, even though the public holiday itself does not move. In such cases, an employee is entitled to at least one of the following (as chosen by the employer): a day off within a month, an additional day's paid annual leave or an additional day's pay. The usual practice is, however, to award a day off on the next available weekday.
The United Kingdom Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the first Bank holidays in Ireland. The Act designated four Bank holidays in Ireland: Easter Monday; Whit Monday; St. Stephen's Day and the first Monday in August. As Good Friday and Christmas Day were traditional days of rest and Christian worship (as were Sundays), therefore it was felt unnecessary to include them in the Act as they were already recognised as common law holidays.
In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was due to the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by the Irish MP James O'Mara.
In 1939, the Oireachtas passed the Holidays (Employees) Act 1939 which designated the public holidays as Christmas Day; St. Stephen's Day; St. Patrick's Day; Easter Monday; Whit Monday and the first Monday in August. The Holidays (Employees) Act 1973 replaced the Whit Monday holiday with the first Monday in June. New Year's Day was not listed in the Act but was added by Statutory Instrument in 1974. The October Holiday was added in 1977. The first Monday in May (commonly known as May Day) was added in 1993 and first observed in 1994.
In 1997 the Oireachtas passed the Organisation of Working Time Act. This Act, among other things, transposed European Union directives on working times into Irish law. Schedule 2 of the Act specifies the nine public holidays to which employees in Ireland are entitled to receive time off work, time in-lieu or holiday pay depending on their terms of employment.
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|Life in Ireland|
- In Ireland the academic year in primary schools lasts from late August to late June.
- The academic year is composed of 183 schooldays and schools are not open in July or August (though for flexibility school may open for the last two/three days of August).
- The first mid-term break is always the last week of October (also called the Halloween break).
- Most Catholic schools previously closed for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, but however this has stopped.
- The Christmas break lasts from the last school day before 23 December to the first weekday after 6 January (17–21 days).
- The second mid-term break is a minimum of two days to a maximum of five days duration taken in the third week of February (also called the Shrove break).
- The Easter break consists of a week before Easter to the 2nd Monday after Easter (10 school days or 16 days inclusive).
- In the last term holidays are flexible and are generally arranged around the public holidays in May and June.
- In Ireland the academic year in secondary schools is composed of 167 school days and lasts from late August to early June.
- The first mid-term break begins on the last weekend before 31 October and lasts for one week.
- Many Catholic schools used to close for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December but this however has stopped nationwide.
- The Christmas break lasts from the last school day before 23 December to the first weekday after 6 January (10 school days or 15–18 days inclusive).
- The second mid-term break begins on the last school day in the second week of February and lasts for one week.
- The Easter break consists of a week before Easter to the second Monday after Easter (10 school days or 16 days inclusive).
- The school year ends on the Friday before the June public holiday.
- The state examinations (the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations) begin the Wednesday after the June Holiday.
- "Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "O'Mara". Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- This holiday has no official title in Ireland, it is called the first Monday in May.
- "S.I. No. 91/1993 – Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973 (Public Holiday) Regulations, 1993". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Holidays (Employees) Act, 1961". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "S.I. No. 193/1977 – Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973 (Public Holiday) Regulations, 1977". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Bank Holiday Fact File" (PDF). TUC press release. 22 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Holidays (Employees) Act, 1939". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "S.I. No. 341/1974 — Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973 (Public Holiday) Regulations, 1974". Irish Statute Book. Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Organisation of Working Time Act 1997". Office of the Attorney General. Retrieved 5 January 2011.