Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “I have long campaigned for St Patrick’s Day to be made an official public holiday and I am again issuing my call for this to the Westminster Government.
“St Patrick’s Day is for everyone in Northern Ireland and making the day a public holiday would ensure that everyone has the day off work or school and can therefore enjoy all the festivities.
“I don’t believe that Northern Ireland can at present make the most of St Patricks Day, because it is not an official public holiday. Look at America and the way they are able to attract tourists from across the world to their parades on the day. We need to do the same in Northern Ireland, as this would help provide a massive boost to our tourism industry and economy in general.
“St Patrick’s Day is a shared celebration of all our culture across the island of Ireland. It would be a terrible shame if those in authority cannot make progress on delivering this day as a public holiday for all.”