Michael D. Higgins pays tribute to those lost to Covid-19 this year 6 months ago

Michael D. Higgins pays tribute to those lost to Covid-19 this year

The President has issued his Christmas and New Year's message to the nation.

President Michael D. Higgins has expressed his "deepest sympathies" to those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 in 2021 in his Christmas and New Year's message.

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Noting that the past 12 months have been "challenging" for some more than others, President Higgins praised the strength and resilience of the Irish public in the face of frequent upheaval and fatigue.

"Throughout this past year we have again been called on to change and adapt our lives as we continue to battle with the great global challenge that is the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic," said the President.

"Your response has been one that showed courage, resilience, patience and a deep commitment to others. May I pay tribute to you all for your efforts.

"The successful roll-out of the Covid-19 Vaccine Programme to citizens across the country has enabled a sense of renewed hope and possibility to enter our lives, for which we can be deeply grateful," he added.

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"I am, however, profoundly aware of the many people who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 during 2021, and may I extend to you my deepest sympathies at this difficult time, when we remember them all."

President Higgins highlighted those overseas who have experienced lengthy separations from friends and family during a considerably difficult period in human history.

"May I take this opportunity to pay tribute to you for your forbearance and commitment, and assure you that your sacrifices for the greater good have been greatly appreciated by the people of Ireland," he said.

Looking to the future, the President sounded a note of optimism as he expressed his hopes for the world to emerge from the pandemic and take urgent and appropriate action on climate emergency.

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"At this time of year, in our cities and towns, and in our homes, as lights are lit, and we seek to illuminate the dark mid-winter days, and look forward to the light of spring, let us do so with a spirit of joy and anticipation," he said.

"Soon the days will begin to lengthen and we will enter a season of renewal and growth. As we move towards those brighter days, let us remain committed to each other, strengthen those values which will too ensure that we will have a special regard for the vulnerable.

"As we emerge from this difficult time let us take confidence from the strength that working together brings, that gives so much power to achieve a better future on our shared and vulnerable planet.

"Once again, may I wish you a safe and Happy Christmas, and a New Year of hope, promise and fulfilment."

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