Following the announcement that most Covid-19 restrictions were being lifted, Fingal County Council have been quick to confirm that they are ready to welcome a return of the annual St Patrick’s Day Parades to the streets of Fingal after a two-year absence. The Council has outlined that while official parades are set to take place in Swords, Blanchardstown and Balbriggan, community groups in Rush, Lusk and Skerries will also host celebrations on 17 March via the Council’s Festival and Events Funding Scheme. The theme this year is “Essential Workers”, chosen to thank the thousands of frontline staff for their tremendous hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic. The Council is also looking to make it a truly green parade by making it a carbon neutral event. Announcing the parades, Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh said: “The annual St Patrick’s Day parades held across the County have always been a highlight on the events calendar, so I am absolutely thrilled that we are able to get the crowds back once again where they can enjoy a full day of music, song and dance. “Reducing carbon emissions is very much at the heart of our thinking and to that end we want to be the first local authority in Ireland to go non-combustion engine in our parades. That’s why we are asking that only electric or hybrid vehicles be used on the routes, along with anyone who is choosing to run, scoot, cycle, or walk. “Táim ag súil go mór le gach duine a fheiceáil ag ceiliúradh don chéad uair le cúpla bliain anuas. Ocáid iontach a bheidh ann!” Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “After such a long wait, this is a fantastic opportunity for Fingal residents to come together to celebrate. It’s also a time for the many local groups and businesses we have to get involved in creating a wonderful atmosphere at what is always one of the most popular events of the year.” The Council is inviting local businesses, organisations, youth clubs, sports clubs, schools and other groups from across the County to participate in these parades and help make this year’s celebrations truly memorable.Groups are being encouraged to incorporate the “Essential Workers” theme as part of their parade effort. Anyone interested in taking part in any of the parades should contact Davis Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or register via fingalparades.com. Participation is free and applications close on 17 February.