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Ireland: Dubliners Keep Spirits High by Singing Together on St. Patrick's Day Amid Coronavirus

A local Dublin street was filmed on Tuesday celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the era of social distancing and the COVID-19 outbreak. The residents of each household on the street came out into their front gardens to sing the traditional Irish song “Oro ‘se dobheatha abhaile” which translates to “Oh-Ro welcome home” together.

The song was first sung in the late 1800s to celebrate the day a new bride moved in with her husband. It gained further notoriety when nationalist poet Padraig Pearse added more verses and was often sung by the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising. After that, it became an Irish rebel song, sung by nationalists against the English and Brits.

All St. Patrick’s Day festivities throughout Ireland have been cancelled due to the current quarantine many are facing on ‘The Emerald Isle’.

Ireland’s most famous day has been celebrated in the capital and then around the world as the Irish emigrated since the early 1600s, often with large gatherings, parades and traditionally, copious amounts of whiskey. It was estimated that over two million people attended related festivities in 2019.

The first official St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Dublin in 1931. 2020’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak is only the second time since 1931 that the parade has been cancelled. The only other occasion was when the parade was delayed until May in 2001 amid the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The Republic of Ireland is currently reporting 223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has recorded two deaths thus far.

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