The Ireland government has awarded its nation a four-day St Patrick's day weekend this year as a 'thank you' for the sacrifices made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Politicians announced the extended public holiday will take place from March 18, 2022, the day after St Patrick's Day. This means workers will be off from Thursday until Sunday.
The government has made the extended holiday permanent, but it will fall on another public holiday, St Brigid's Day, in future years.
It comes as ministers signed off on a tax-free $1609 bonus that will be paid to frontline health workers to thank them for their service.
That workforce includes ambulance staff, student nurses and Defence Force members who assisted with the countries vaccination roll-out.
Enterprise Trade and Employment minister Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says many lives have been lost and millions have been interrupted.
"Today the Government decided on three actions to remember those who lost their lives to COVID and to recognise all workers, volunteers and members of the general public, who help us in this fight against the pandemic."