Ireland information: public holidays in Ireland

Public holidays on the island of Ireland mean big celebrations, and some just offer a good excuse to chill out. Here's what you need to know.

New Year’s Day

1 January 2016

Things are very quiet on New Year’s Day. Most shops and pubs will be closed and if pubs do open they may open later and close earlier than usual. Public transport does operate but under restrictions.

St Patrick's Day Public Holiday

17 March 2016

A party atmosphere grips Ireland on St Patrick's Day. Expect pubs to be very busy. Shops close earlier than usual or stay closed, but in urban centres you're likely to find some outlets open. Public transport can be disrupted due to parades and as it’s a public holiday restricted services generally apply.

Good Friday

25 March 2016

While Good Friday is not an official public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, schools and some businesses do close on that day and all pubs are shut. You are not allowed to buy alcohol on Good Friday in the Republic. Residents of hotels are permitted to drink in hotel bars. In Northern Ireland, pubs can only sell alcohol between the hours of 5pm – 11pm and off-licences operate as normal. Shops in smaller towns and villages will close but more and more businesses are remaining open in urban centres.

Easter Monday

28 March 2016

Pubs and shops may open later and close earlier than usual or not open at all. In larger cities more places will be open than in smaller towns. Public transport can differ depending on where you are. In most places there will be a Sunday service running, but best to check ahead of time.

Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne

12 July 2016 – Northern Ireland only

This is a public holiday in Northern Ireland only and most businesses will be closed. However, more and more places are remaining open in urban centres.

Republic of Ireland public holidays (bank holidays)

2 May, 6 June, 1 August and 31 October 2016

There are several public holidays between May and October including Halloween. Banks will close everywhere for these days, shops and pubs in urban areas tend to stay open but things are quieter in smaller towns and villages. Public transport can operate under restricted schedules or run a Sunday service. This will depend on where you are in the country, so best to check ahead of time.

Northern Ireland public holidays (bank holidays)

2 May, 30 May and 29 August 2016

Banks will close everywhere for this day. Shops and pubs in urban areas tend to stay open but things will be quieter in the smaller towns and villages. Public transport can operate under restricted schedules or run a Sunday service. This depends on where you are in the country, so it's best to check ahead of time.

Christmas Day

25 December 2016

On Christmas Day pretty much everything is closed for business. Public transport does not operate but you might be able to book a taxi or hackney cab.

St Stephen's Day (Republic of Ireland) Boxing Day (Northern Ireland)

26 December 2016

In big cities, this is the unofficial start of the post-Christmas sales, but in smaller towns most shops still remain closed. Pubs are open and public transport operates under restricted schedules.