Northern Ireland news

Civil servants in Northern Ireland get extra day off after Twelfth

Central Library in Belfast was closed yesterday Picture by Hugh Russell

CIVIL servants in Northern Ireland got a day off work yesterday - despite it being neither a bank holiday nor public holiday.

While healthcare workers, post office staff and bank employees returned to work, those in government departments got an extra day's leave on the back of last Friday's absence to mark the annual July 12 break.

Council bin collections went ahead yesterday but some local government services including community centres, pest control and consumer advice remained closed.

All libraries and mobile libraries were also shut yesterday.

According to the NI Direct website, which provides information on government departments, public holidays are those which have been "observed through custom and practice, such as Christmas Day".

While July 12 and 13 have long been considered `official holidays', the second date does not appear on the definitive list.

NI Direct details a total of 10 bank and public holidays celebrated each year in the north, including July 12 to mark "Battle of the Boyne/Orangeman's Day".

However, it does not include July 13.

July 13 will be a holiday in 2020, however, but only because July 12 falls on a Sunday.

When an official holiday date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the 'substitute day' is normally the following Monday.

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