Covid one year on – students reflect on another St Patrick’s Day in lockdown

Niamh Quinlan

Students are disappointed with the underwhelming St. Patrick’s Day they faced this year. It’s the second time the holiday took place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A usually lively holiday, filled with parades, socialising and drinking, many students faced their Paddy’s Day celebrations at home rather than in the pub with their friends.

“I just stayed at home, ordered a takeaway, watched a movie,” said final year multimedia student, Peter Campbell.

“It was nice, it was just disappointing because I wish I could have been out with friends, but you know, with the situation we’re in now, it was as fun as it could be, I guess,” said Campbell

“[Usually] I am working behind a busy bar filled with merry people drinking pints of Guinness and placing bets on Cheltenham,” said Regina Mullen, a third year nursing student. But this year was different.

“I went on a long walk to take in some fresh air, as the sun was shining, I then ordered a takeaway and sat myself down in front of a movie for the evening with my housemate… it was more a self-care day than a national holiday,” said Mullen.

“I definitely missed not being able to go out or even not being able to go into the parade,” said Triona Daly, a final year accounting student. “Me and my roommates had some drink, played a board game and watched a movie.

“I felt like it didn’t even feel like St. Patrick’s Day.”

Many DCU students took to drinking in Albert College Park. A usual tradition on sunny days, the western pitches were filled with students drinking, playing music and socially distancing.

Many of those present lived on campus and were drinking with their housemates in the sunny weather.

Róisín Greenan was one of those students having drinks with her housemates in the park.

“We knew that it was a different day to a normal day but at the same time it was a bit of a dampener knowing that we couldn’t celebrate the way we should be,” said Greenan.

The Gardaí eventually broke up the drinking sessions in the park and sent all attendees home.

Garda presence was amped up this St. Patrick’s Day, with approximately 2,500 deployed around the country. Road checkpoints were set up to prevent people traveling to Dublin City to take part in any protests as well as checks along public transport routes.

In total, 21 people were arrested in the capital for continuously failing to comply with directions from Gardaí and public safety guidelines. Most were taking part in anti-mask or lockdown protests.

Seven Gardaí were also hospitalised after violent attacks on policing operations in Dublin and Laois.

Niamh Quinlan

Image Credit: Grace O’Sullivan