Dodds: St David’s Day Should Be a Public Holiday

This St David’s Day, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for the day to become a public holiday in Wales.

St David’s Day is currently only a patron saint day and does not have any legal standing. Meanwhile, in Scotland and Ireland St Andrew’s Day and St Patrick’s Day respectively are already public holidays.

Almost every country on earth has a national holiday, why not Wales? We already know the UK only has one of the lowest numbers of public holidays in the developed world at eight, compared to 13 in Germany and Spain, 15 in Sweden and 16 in Japan.

St David’s Day is the day we all come together to celebrate the huge tapestry of Welsh culture and remember our collective history.

It is only right therefore that St David’s Day, Wales’ national day, is made a public holiday just like St Andrew’s Day in Scotland and St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

The UK Government needs to give the Senedd the power to legislate for this to happen, so we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to celebrate who we are and our unique culture which unites us.

* Jane Dodds is Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

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  • George Thomas 1st Mar '22 - 12:01pm

    I consider LD’s to be a pro-UK party so odd that they’ve not taken the opportunity to also respond to the presented reason from Westminster (“we must keep the UK together”, “close association between Welsh and English business would be disrupted”) with own message of how St David’s Day can be celebrated in Wales by those pro-UK.

    Is Dodds not giving it an airing because it’s a ridiculous reason, even Tories in the Senedd now think so, and doesn’t want to legitimise it? There is an argument that forcing people to think about nationality has the effect of people rejecting whatever you’re seen to be forcing onto them.

    Regardless, obviously St David’s Day should be a bank holiday. One of Corbyn’s better ideas was to increase number of bank holiday’s in the UK so even if whole of UK gets to celebrate each patron saints day (so anti-devolution party in No 10 can get on board) it still makes sense.

  • Robin Grayson 2nd Mar '22 - 9:34am

    I fully support St David’s Day being a bank holiday. This is long overdue in Wales. It is high-time for London-centric England to fully recognise Wales as a country and not just a principality.

  • Gwyn Williams 2nd Mar '22 - 10:25am

    It is odd to be reminded that the Senedd can close the border between England and Wales but still lacks the power to declare a Wales-only Bank Holiday. There is a debate to be had over which days should be declared Bank Holidays but that debate should take place in Wales. However Ms Dodds is correct to call for the devolution of this power from Westminster to the Cardiff Senedd.

  • Peter Hirst 2nd Mar '22 - 12:00pm

    I’m amazed St David’s Day is not a public holiday at least in Wales. Wales enjoys a strong and vibrant culture – long may it continue. Allowing the Welsh government to make it one is a no brainer.

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