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Sunday, 21 December 2008


St Patrick’s Day Greetings from President McAleese

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ar chlann mhór dhomhanda na nGael, sa bhaile agus ar fud na cruinne, ar an lá náisiúnta ceiliúrtha seo. 

Warmest St Patrick’s Day Greetings to everyone taking part in this happy festival celebration, in Ireland and around the world. This is our time for showcasing the spirit of the Irish through our wonderful culture and heritage, our gift for friendship and our love of life. We will gather in both the most obvious and the most obscure of places under the patronage of St. Patrick, a man, an immigrant to Ireland whose life was one of outrageous hardship and outstanding endurance. The chances are that wherever the Irish, and their neighbours and friends gather this St. Patrick’s Day they will be making a very determined effort to find joy in adversity and a moment of distraction from serious economic and financial worries that face our country and our world.

St Patrick’s own personal story is one of facing into huge difficulties and hardships, not of his own making. His coping skills were sorely tested.  In the Deer’s Cry, the beautiful poem attributed to him he says, “I arise today, through a mighty strength”.  We have our own mighty strength, in the goodness, decency and hard work of so many individuals, in our uniquely strong and robust sense of community, in our history of overcoming hardship, our culture of welcome, our investment in peace and in our ability on St. Patrick’s Day to be family to one another from Beijing to Bahrain and from Belfast to Bantry.  We know that our patron saint would encourage us to work with each other, for each other and work through these difficulties to a better future for everyone.

Behind every St. Patrick’s Day gathering wherever it is in the world there is a story of men and women who came together to celebrate being Irish, whether by birth or by association. They are part of a generations old tradition of volunteering help to one another, and of being community to one another.  I thank all of them for the many ways in which they bring such noble and life-enhancing qualities into our world and for the fun, enjoyment and happy memories they help create for us through St. Patrick’s Day 2009.     

To each and every one of you, I wish a wonderful St. Patrick’s festival.  Enjoy every moment of it and may the spirit of St Patrick be with you and your families on this day and every day. May that mighty strength be yours as it was his.





 MARCH, 2009

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