Tomorrow, Tuesday 17 March, is St Patrick’s Day, and a public holiday in Ireland. Blacknight will operate to its usual holiday schedule, with the following working arrangements in place:

Support will be available by email and live chat from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Telephone service will be provided for support, accounts and sales from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Normal on-call support will be available to colocation and dedicated server customers.

Online domain sales will be unaffected, with the exception of IE domains which require manual confirmation by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), who will be closed for the public holiday. Any .IE domains registered on Tuesday will not be processed by IEDR until Wednesday.

It’s a different kind of St Patrick’s Day holiday to what we are used to. Because of COVID19, all public gatherings have been cancelled. Not only the parades, but pubs are closed and the public has been asked not to have parties. Church services have been cancelled and sports event also.

Blacknight is very fortunate that our core business is designed to support online work. In fact our information security policies discourage physical access to our offices and datacentres.

On Friday we shut our office in Carlow and our staff all worked from home. Everyone successfully and securely connected to our office IT and telephone systems, using Blacknight Broadband and other providers. There was no impact on customer service.

Today the majority of our staff continues to work from home. In common with companies and individuals around the country we are mindful of our collective responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

So it’s a different kind of St Patrick’s Day. Let’s celebrate it in a different way. It’s a chance to slow things down a little, perhaps. But while we may be physically isolated, our technology connects us like never before. We should use it positively, to work and study if we can, to connect and check in on others. But we should also be careful of some of the more negative things that can spread ‘virally’ online: hysteria, misinformation and hoaxes. Please take care not to amplify ‘fake news’: you should only trust official news sources.

It’s a time of worry and uncertainty, but there is also a lot to be thankful for. As we mark our national day, we should celebrate the solidarity and community spirit which is vital if we are to successfully face this challenge as a nation.

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