Kieran McCarthy said: “Northern Ireland has massive tourism potential and to realise this potential we need to make sure St Patrick’s Day is a real public holiday for all. We need to make the most of St Patrick’s Day and attract tourists to Northern Ireland to celebrate the day with us, enjoy our hospitality and help boost our economy.
“This is all about creating a shared future and giving everyone ownership of the day. Its about making St Patrick’s Day the best it can be because we have a lot to be proud of in Northern Ireland and this is one of the biggest days on our calendar.
“Many young people currently cannot partake in the great celebrations because they are at school, and many other people have to work on the day too, so this is about giving everyone a day off.
“We had this very same debate over ten years ago and I sincerely hope that we don’t have to wait another ten years for the Secretary of State to make it a public holiday for everyone.”