President Higgins calls for global solidarity against Covid-19 in St Patrick's Day message 3 months ago

President Higgins calls for global solidarity against Covid-19 in St Patrick's Day message

The message saw the Irish President reflecting on Ireland's past, present and future.

President Michael D Higgins made an appeal for global solidarity in the fight against Covid-19 in his 2021 St Patrick's Day message.

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As well as addressing the pandemic, the Irish President also discussed immigration and climate change.

Early in his speech, he called Saint Patrick "the stock of our early foundational Irish migrants."

He added: "Saint Patrick’s Day, then, must always be a special day for recalling our migrant history and learning from it, be a source of our ethics and of our policy at home and abroad.

"When in so many places, in so many different circumstances, voices of invocation by Irish people sing out on Saint Patrick’s Day, they are placing their invocation alongside the invocations and prayers of migrant communities everywhere who have, over generations, sought to collectively transcend present circumstances."

He also said Covid-19 has given people the opportunity to examine their attitudes and make changes for the better as we "exit the fog" of the pandemic.

The President stated: "On Saint Patrick’s Day 2021, we have been reminded of our shared vulnerability, our interdependence, the need for an understanding that can fly past borders.

"In the message we have received from Covid, surely there is the undeniable insight that we must all, and together, exit the fog of not only the pandemic but all of the hubris, the arrogance, the vanities of assuming the right to dominate, to impose, to exclude; strategies of life which have left us such a legacy of lost communality and a planet in danger.

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"We have had the opportunity, since last year in particular, then, to examine the assumptions that have brought upon us less than the best of ourselves. There is much to be discarded, and we should do so without unnecessary recrimination.

"Surely we do not need to make war to find peace; and then when we discover a remedy, an insight of science for the avoidance or cure of disease, it must be for the sharing, rather than the hoarding as a commodity for use in aggressive trade competition.

"There will be a capacity for joy in our exit from Covid-19, but that joy should be informed by our reflection on the new values we will invoke and practice as we set out on the new journey we undertake together.

"Out of Covid we must globally share that which we need for a shared journey. Trust in words is fading. That trust must be restored."

He closed his speech by extending "a hand of friendship across the globe" to all those Irish by birth, descent or association, and to all those who have assisted Irish people, especially over the past year.

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The President said: "I wish you, and all those who form part of the Irish family, and its friends in the families of the world, a happy and peaceful Saint Patrick’s Day.

Watch the message in full below.

Clip via Áras an Uachtaráin

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