Coronavirus forces Pensioners Choir out of St. Patrick’s celebrations

The Irish Pensioners Choir
The Irish Pensioners Choir have decided not to take part in this year’s St. Patrick’s celebrations at Trafalgar Square to not risk contracting the coronavirus. Coronavirus has already forced the cancellation of St. Patrick’s parades in Ireland. While the London parade is set to go ahead, the choir is made up of people in the at risk age group.
A statement from the Irish Elderly Advice Network on behalf of the Irish Pensioners Choir said: “It is with great regret that we have made the decision to withdraw from the wonderful St Patrick’s Day line-up on the Main Stage in Trafalgar Square. This was set to be a once in a lifetime experience for many in our group, and we have not taken this decision lightly.
“Every member of the Irish Pensioners Choir is over 65 year of age, many have serious underlying health conditions. They are, without a doubt, part of the demographic most at risk from the Corona Virus. The Irish Pensioners Choir and Friends is not just a singing group, it is a community and a family. While some of our members are fit and well and could have perhaps safely attended, it did not feel right or any of us to see the most vulnerable members miss out on the day, while the rest carried on. Having talked about it extensively and honestly as a group, we now feel it is right, and sensible, to withdraw. The stakes for too many in our choir are simply too high.
“To bring our inter-generational versions of Raglan Road, Blackboard of My Heart, Red is the Rose and Oró Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile to a mass crowd in Trafalgar Square would have been unforgettable. We are determined to reunite as a group for a public performance, once it is safe to do so.
“It was a huge privilege for us to have been invited to take part in the St Patrick’s Day festival in Trafalgar Square. We are extremely grateful to the London Irish Centre’s Cultural Team for their inclusive approach to the programme and for their kindness and understanding at our withdrawal. We hope to be back, joyfully celebrating St Patrick’s Day in London in March 2021.”

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