from President Michael D Higgins
May I, on this St Patrick’s Day 2019, send my warmest greetings as Uachtarán na hÉireann, President of Ireland, to all our extended family across the world.
Wherever you may be, and in whatever circumstances, you are part of Ireland’s global family joining with us as we celebrate our shared Irishness, its culture, heritage and history.
May I send my greetings, too, and express my appreciation for all those from other nations and cultures who join with us in celebration of our national day.
Today is a day when we are asked to reflect on the legacy of St Patrick, whose life embodied the values of solidarity and shared humanity, reminding us of how much of what is necessary and good can be accomplished by those who think inclusively and act from the best instincts of the heart.
On this special day let us renew our commitment to equality, social justice and care for all our vulnerable people, so many of whom continue to struggle for the very necessities of life.
In recent years St Patrick’s Day has been marked by the greening of iconic buildings, here in Ireland, including of course Áras an Uachtaráin, and across the globe. The colour green is, of course, strongly associated with our national saint’s day, with Ireland’s history and our struggle for independence.
Today the word green has now become profoundly linked to the protection of our environment and the challenges we face in preserving the planet for our own and future generations.
The important decisions that have been taken at global level to halt the ongoing destruction of the environment must involve us all.
It is critical that we all become ever more aware of the importance of changing our lifestyles, so that we can help reduce the negative impacts on the environment of our actions. It is important that we embrace our responsibilities as global citizens and play our own personal and essential role in saving our planet and our environment.
The success of those significant and crucial decisions taken by Governments in 2015 depends, in so many ways, on each and every one of us making our daily contributions to the creation of a cleaner, safer and better world.
So, this year, as famous buildings and landmarks around the world turn green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, let us resolve to play our part, however small, in the achieving of a greener world in its truest sense.
On St Patrick’s Day we celebrate all that is best about our Irishness, sharing our national day with those who will join us in our celebration of our culture, our songs and our language.
As we connect to our wider Irish family and to the many friends of Ireland who celebrate with us, let us also resolve to embrace all of our responsibilities as global citizens, and to work with fellow citizens across all continents for a better, more equal and sustainable world; a world that, with all our efforts, can reject violence in all its forms; that recognises continuing global poverty, exploitation and exclusion from the fulfilment of societies and persons as a continuing failure on the part of humanity.
May I wish all those who share this island, be they Irish people by birth or descent or those who have a connection with Ireland, wherever they may be in the world, and all those fellow global citizens who are friends of Ireland, a happy and peaceful St Patrick's Day.