St Patrick's Day message from President Michael D Higgins

Thursday 14 March 2013 08.39
President Michael D Higgins says it is a time to remember the Irish community abroad
President Michael D Higgins says it is a time to remember the Irish community abroad

Read President Michael D Higgins' St Patrick's Day message.

To Irish people everywhere and to the friends of Ireland around the world, I send my best wishes for St Patrick’s Day.

The 17th of March is a day when we celebrate the life and memory of our Patron Saint, Saint Patrick.

It is also a day when, with our wider Irish family around the world, we reflect on our shared past; celebrate the unique culture and heritage which make us proud of our Irishness; express solidarity with each other in our communities; and show our gratitude to all those who have been, or are being, of assistance to Irish people at home and abroad.

In his life, St Patrick faced many challenges and adversities.

He did so with a great generosity of spirit, forgave readily and refused to succumb to fatalism or resentment.

Like St Patrick, we are today living through our own troubling and testing times.

We too have been called on to show resilience, fortitude and the wisdom to move beyond destructive cynicism and recrimination.

Many people have undeniably been hurt by the crisis of recent years; today we should think of them and reach out to them.

I have in recent times witnessed across the country a great capacity and determination to learn from the failures of the past and to craft with compassion, and in solidarity with each other, a new version of our Irishness, of which we can all be proud.

Today we celebrate together a positive Irishness and take pride in the impact and resonance of Irish culture and heritage across the world.

We celebrate the creativity, community spirit and rich culture for which we, as a nation, are recognised.

In recent days, I have invited to Áras an Uachtaráin some of Ireland’s best artists to demonstrate through conversation and performance the depth and breadth of our island’s cultural richness and its reach across the global Diaspora.

Titled “The Glaoch” or Calling, the fruits of that invitation will be transmitted world-wide over the St. Patrick’s Day week-end.

I hope it makes its contribution to our celebration of Irishness, both by those who come to visit us and by those Irish abroad wherever they are gathered.

Today we remember especially our Irish community abroad.

We are richer for their stories and experiences and are grateful for their continued connection and contribution to the country so many of them still call ‘home’.

2013 is a special year here in Ireland; a year when we are reaching out to our many friends, family and connections overseas, inviting them to join us in a year-long celebration of all that is special about our country.

The Gathering is a valuable opportunity to come together with our wider Irish community and enjoy a vibrant programme of events and festivals that will celebrate the best of Irish culture, arts, science, creativity, music, heritage and people.

At this time, we remember those Irish people whose peace-keeping and humanitarian work has brought them overseas.

We also remember those Irish citizens who have been separated from their homeland through involuntary emigration and may not be able to visit home this year.

I wish you, in particular, a happy and fulfilled time in your new countries.

When economic circumstances allow and should you choose to do so, I hope that many of you will return to live and work in Ireland once again.

Your return will be one that brings much joy and content to your families and communities.

All Irish people, wherever they may be in the world and whatever their circumstances, are in our thoughts on this special day; a day when we celebrate our Irishness and rejoice in being part of a global family and community of whom we can be very proud.

I wish all of you a very happy and peaceful St Patrick’s Day.

Michael D Higgins
Uachtaráin na hÉireann
President of Ireland

Is mian liom beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig a ghuí ar mhuintir na hÉireann agus ar cháirde na hÉireann ar fud an domhain.

Is lá é an seachtú lá déag de Mhárta nuair a dhéanaimid comóradh ar shaol agus ar chuimhne ár nÉarlamh, Naomh Pádraig. Is lá é freisin nuair a dhéanaimid machnamh ar an am atá thart, i bpáirt lenár muintir Éireannach ar fud na cruinne; nuair a dhéanaimid ceiliúradh ar an gcultúr agus ar an oidhreacht faoi leith a dhéanann muid bródúil as ár ndúchas Éireannach; nuair a léirímid dlúthpháirtíocht lena chéile inár bpobail; agus nuair a chuirimid ár mbuíochas in iúl dóibh siúd go léir a bhí, nó atá fós, ag cabhrú le muintir na hÉireann sa bhaile agus thar lear.

I rith a shaoil thug Naomh Pádraig aghaidh ar go leor dúshlán agus ar an gcruatan. Rinne sé é sin le dea-chroí mór, thug sé maithiúnas go fonnmhar, agus dhiúltaigh sé géilleadh don chinniúnachas nó don doicheall. Ach an oiread le Naomh Pádraig, táimid ag maireachtáil ar an aimsir seo atá duamhar agus achrannach. Tá iarrtha orainn, chomh maith, a bheith somheanmach agus neartmhar, agus an eagna a thaispeáint a thabharfaidh thar an tsoiniciúlacht dhíobhálach agus an imcháineadh muid.

Níl aon dabht ach gur goilleadh ar chuid mhaith daoine de thoradh na géarchéime le blianta beaga anuas; ba cheart dúinn smaoineamh orthu agus cabhrú leo inniu. Táim tar éis a thabhairt faoi deara, ó cheann ceann na tíre, go bhfuil cumas agus acmhainn sna daoine agus gur mian leo foghlaim ó na botúin atá déanta san am atá caite agus go bfhuil siad ag iarraidh leagan nua dár nÉireannachas, a mbeimid go léir bródúil as, a chruthú i gcomhpháirt agus le comhbhá dá chéile.

Inniú tá ceiliúradh á dhéanamh againn ar an méid atá dearfach san Éireannachas agus táimid mórtasach as tionchar agus as macalla chultúr agus oidhreacht na hÉireann ar fud an domhain. Déanaimid ceiliúradh ar an gcruthaitheacht, ar an spiorad pobail agus ar an gcultúr saibhir as a n-aithnítear muid mar náisiún.

Le gairid, thug mé cuireadh chuig Áras an Uachtaráin do chuid de scoth na n-ealaíontóirí in Éirinn chun a léiriú, trí imagallamh agus trí thaibhiú, doimhne agus fairsinge shaibhreas cultúrtha an oileáin seo agus a réim trasna an diaspóra dhomhanda.

Déanfar toradh an chuiridh sin, ar a dtugtar “An Glaoch”, a chraobhscaoileadh ar fud an domhain le linn dheireadh seachtaine Lá Fhéile Pádraig. Tá súil agam go gcuirfidh sé lenár gceiliúradh ar an Éireannachas a dhéanfaidh siad siúd a thiocfaidh ar cuairt orainn agus muintir na hÉireann thar lear araon.

Cuimhnimid go háirithe inniú ar an bpobal Éireannach thar lear. Is saibhre muid de thoradh a scéalta agus a dtaithí agus táimid buíoch as a gceangal leanúnach agus as a gcion tairbhe don tír a dtugann an oiread sin díobh ‘an baile’ air. Is bliain speisialta í dhá mhíle agus a trí déag (2013) anseo in Éirinn; bliain ina ndéanaimid teagmháil lenár gcairde, ár gclanna agus lenár gceangail thar lear, agus ina dtugaimid cuireadh dóibh bheith inár dteannta agus ceiliúradh bliana a dhéanamh ar gach a bhfuil speisialta faoin tír seo. Is deis luachmhar atá againn sa Tóstal teacht le chéile i bpobal fairsing na hÉireann agus taitneamh a bhaint as clár beoga imeachtaí agus féilte a dhéanfaidh ceiliúradh ar scoth an chultúir, na n-ealaíon, na heolaíochta, na cruthaitheachta, an cheoil, na hoidhreachta agus na ndaoine in Éirinn.

Ag an am seo, cuimhnimid ar na hÉireannaigh sin atá imithe thar lear chun obair dhaonchabhrach a dhéanamh agus chun an tsíocháin a choimeád. Cuimhnimid, freisin, ar na saoránaigh Éireannacha sin atá scartha óna dtír dhúchais de bharr eisimirce in aghaidh a dtola agus nach mbeidh ábalta, b’fhéidir, teacht abhaile ar cuairt i mbliana. Ba mhaith liom gach rath agus saol sásta a ghuí oraibh in bhur dtíortha nua. Nuair a cheadóidh na cúinsí eacnamaíochta é agus dá mba mhian libh é, tá súil agam go bhfillfidh go leor díbh ar Éirinn chun oibre agus chun cónaithe. Is cúis áthais agus sástachta a bheidh ann do bhur gclanna agus bhur bpobail nuair a fhillfidh sibh.

Tá muintir uile na hÉireann, cibé áit ina bhfuil siad, agus cibé cúinsí ina bhfuil siad, inár smaointe ar an lá speisialta seo; lá a ndéanaimid ceiliúradh ar ár ndúchas Éireannach agus a bhfuilimid ríméadach faoin bpáirt atá againn sa chomhluadar agus sa phobal domhanda a bhféadaimid a bheith an-bhródúil as. Guím Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona agus síochánta oraibh go léir.

Michael D Higgins
Uachtaráin na hÉireann
President of Ireland