Uncertainty over the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 has influenced postponement of the annual Irish Skipper Expo and a charity evening in aid of the Lost at Sea Tragedies (LAST) next weekend, writes Lorna Siggins.
Mara Media, which organises the Irish Skipper Expo, said the show originally scheduled for Limerick on March 13th and 14th will be held at a later date.
“We regretfully announce that we are postponing next week’s Irish Skipper Expo 2020, but our foremost concern is the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors to the event, Mara Media managing director Hugh Bonner said in a statement.
“The advice we have received from Health Service Executive Ireland (HSE) is that while coronavirus in Ireland is still in the containment phase, it is a rapidly evolving situation, and as such, rescheduling the show is the only sensible and pragmatic option,” he said.
Earlier today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had said that there was no recommendation to cancel mass gatherings at this stage.
Mr Bonner said that this was “not a decision we have taken lightly, and we appreciate the difficulties this will cause because of the planning involved in attending the expo”.
“The wellbeing of exhibitors and visitors is of paramount importance to us,” Mr Bonner said.
“We will be working with our show contractors, and with the wider fishing industry, to put in place a new date which will be announced as soon as possible,” he said, paying tribute to exhibitors for their support at this “challenging time”
The “Fishermen’s Fling” charity gala evening in aid of LAST, also due to be held in Limerick to coincide with the expo on March 13th, has also been postponed until further notice.
Its organiser Niall Duffy said that tickets would remain valid until a new date is announced.