St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Statement re St. Patrick’s celebrations 2020 in Torremolinos and Benalmadena

The Irish Association of Spain wishes to announce that the St. Patrick’s celebrations in Torremolinos and Benalmadena scheduled for Saturday (14th March 2020) have been postponed. The reason for this is the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus and the recent escalation in numbers affected.

This is the last course of action we wanted to take but we have been monitoring the global spread of the virus in recent weeks and in the past 10 days in particular. The decision to cancel events and public gatherings across the world have been coming quite quickly. We note that some are cancelled/postponed by agreement or voluntarily but in many cases the decision has been made by governments, local authorities or health departments.

The Irish Association of Spain has been in constant contact with authorities in recent weeks and we would like to thank them for their assistance. However, as things in Spain have developed in recent days, we were advised on Tuesday that while there was no immediate plan to cancel, postpone or curtail public events or gatherings there was no guarantee that the situation would remain so. We were advised to decide for ourselves. I spent a few hours this afternoon consulting members of the Association and following deliberations it was agreed that we should, in the best interests of all concerned take the difficult but responsible decision to postpone our celebrations.

Apart from members of the public intending to attend the festivities, the decision affects almost 30 people who were scheduled to entertain the audiences in both locations. It directly impacts four local bars, caterers, sound engineers, stage crew and marshalling volunteers. Charitable organisations were also due to have staff in attendance to raise funds for their respective organisations. The safety and wellbeing of these people was paramount in making the decision. We have a responsibility to all of these people and need to commit to them. Our decision to postpone was communicated to them before going public and each one agreed with our rationale and were very supportive of our decision”.

We acknowledge that there will be disappointment in the communities affected by this decision but we are in unchartered waters here. This Coronavirus has caused people across the world to make tough decisions for the good of others and that is what we believe we did today. The Irish Association of Spain exists to help people and to lead the way in some cases like with the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. I believe that our decision today keeps us true to those principles.

We in the Irish Association consider this a postponement and we are hopeful that in the coming months we will be able to host an event that will be a late celebration of St. Patrick and a Coronavirus-free world. I would like, on behalf of everyone in the Association thank the Town Halls in Torremolinos and Benalmadena for their co-operation and guidance, the acts that were scheduled to appear, the support crews that were going to work with us on the day, the media and the members of the public who were so excited and intent on coming along to our events. We look forward t0 seeing you all again soon.

Terry McKinley

President